HAMMOND – Solid wrestling performances through out its dual against St. Croix Central last Thursday night in Hammond coupled with a depleted Panther squad proved to be a lethal combination for the Boyceville wrestlers.
With four of its top varsity wrestlers – seniors Cody Nyhagen and Carl Moll along with junior Brian Gibb and sophomore Ryan Gulich – sidelined with skin infections and injuries, St. Croix Central proved to be no match for Boyceville; even on its home floor. The Bulldogs, who took 11 of the 14 matches, pummeled the weakened Panthers 57-18 in a key Dunn-St. Croix dual match January 24.
“We wrestled well,” said Jamie Olson, Boyceville’s head coach. “I thought we had good intensity all the way through”.
The win was an important one for Boyceville as it snapped back after a home loss to rival Glenwood City the previous Thursday (Jan. 17) to stay in the hunt for its 17th Dunn-St. Croix conference championship.
The Bulldogs head into Thursday’s showdown in Elmwood with the unbeaten (in conference) and two-time defending D-SC Champion Spring Valley/Elmwood trailing the Cardinals by a match. Spring Valley/Elmwood, now 3-0 with a convincing 51-10 over Mondovi Jan. 24, has clinched at least a share of its third straight title which Boyceville, 2-1 in conference duals, could share with a win.
But Boyceville knew in order to get to this point it first had to take care of a solid, albeit ailing, St. Croix Central squad last Thursday.
And it did just that as several Bulldog wrestlers gave fine efforts on the mat.
“I thought Jake Lake wrestled a really smart match at heavy weight (285),” stated Coach Olson. “Jake has really been working hard at staying in good position and attacking at the right time, and I thought he demonstrated that to perfection.”
“I also thought Will Kraft looked good, he manhandled a pretty experienced SCC wrestler,” Olson commented. “Wyatt Hansen and Sawyer Swenson also wrestled really solid and smart matches against strong opponents.”
Lake capped the evening’s dual with a impressive 9-2 decision over Central sophomore Decker Grass. Will Kraft, in just his second week of mat competition, scored a fall at 195. Meanwhile, Wyatt Hansen won a 4-0 shut out decision over Trenton Smith at 145 and Sawyer Swenson prevailed 4-1 in his 113-pound match with SCC’s Ryan Heifer.
All were important wins for the Bulldogs as was getting off to a good start which Austin Wolfe provided at 106 pounds.
Wolfe needed just 1:11 to get the Bulldogs’ their first of eight falls in the dual.
Sawyer Swenson would parlay a second-period reversal and final-period takedown into a 4-1 win at 113 that pushed the Bulldogs out to an early 9 to nil advantage.
Luke Smith would put the Panthers on the scoreboard with a first-period pin of Sawyer’s younger sibling Brock Swenson at 120.
The Bulldogs however would get back on track with wins in the next seven consecutive matches including six via pin falls.
Sandwiched around Wyatt Hansen’s exciting 4-0 win at 145 pounds were pins by James Lindo (126), Dominic Olson (132), Jonathan Harnisch (138), Bryor Hellmann (152), Josh Cormican (160), and Isaac Wold (170). Four of the pins came in the first period with Lindo’s and Harnisch’s coming in the second and third periods respectively.
That string of heavy points gave Boyceville an insurmountable 48-6 lead with just four bouts left on that evening’s ticket.
The squads would split the matches.
Kyle Abby (182 pounds) and Austin Edison (220) each scored pins to account for the Panthers’ final two wins and points.
Will Kraft recorded the Bulldogs’ eighth and final fall at the 2:53 mark of his 195-pound match against SCC’s Delfino Carrasco. Freshman Jake Lake put the finishing touch on a 57-18 Bulldogs’ victory with a 9-2 decision at heavy weight.
Another conference crown could be in the offering if the Bulldogs can deliver a repeat performance in Elmwood Thursday.
“We need to be on, catch some breaks, win the bonus points,” commented Olson. “It will take all 14 (wrestlers) to show up and give us everything they have. Valley is good! It should be interesting.”
Boyceville will follow that with an appearance in the annual Dunn-St. Croix/Big Rivers Conference Challenge at River Falls High School on Saturday, Feb. 2. WIAA tournament will begin the following Saturday, February 9, when the Bulldogs travel to Cadott for the Regional Tournament.
Boyceville (BV) 57, St. Croix Central (SCC) 18
106 – Austin Wolfe (BV) pinned Aaron Smrz (SCC), 1:11; 113 – Sawyer Swenson (BV) dec. Ryan Pfeifer (SCC), 4-1; 120 – Lukas Smith (SCC) pinned Brock Swenson (BV), 1:14; 126 – James Lindo (BV) pinned Tyler Johnson (SCC), 2:26; 132 – Dominic Olson (BV) pinned Dillan Iverson (SCC), 1:35; 138 – Jon Harnisch (BV) pinned Cody Gostovich (SCC), 4:52; 145 – Wyatt Hansen (BV) dec. Trent Smith (SCC), 4-0; 152 – Bryor Hellmann (BV) pinned Parker Owens (SCC), 1:31; 160 – Josh Cormican (BV) pinned Logan Lipinski (SCC), 0:43; 170 – Isaac Wold (BV) pinned Jacob Pomroy (SCC), 1:48; 182 – Kyle Aaby (SCC) pinned Zach Sutliff (BV), 2:32. 195 – Will Kraft (BV) pinned Delfino Carrasco (SCC), 2:53; 220 – Austin Edison (SCC) pinned Clayton Windsor (BV), 1:19; 285 – Jake Lake (BV) dec. Decker Grass (SCC), 9-2.