By Kelsie Hoitomt
SPRING VALLEY – The Spring Valley/Elmwood Cardinals are 8-0 on their dual record in wrestling, but despite that figure, the Hilltoppers gave them a run for their money at the match last Thursday night.
The Toppers looked to have a real fighting chance going through the upper weights as they took a 21-3 lead after five of the seven seniors won their matches.
The dual started at 170 pounds with Isaac Tuttle wrestling fellow senior, Kevin Fesenmaier. It was a head to head battle between the two, but Tuttle was able to pick up Fesenmaier and slam him to the mat for a take down in overtime to win by a decision of 4-2.
At 182 pounds was Blayze Wood against Chris Craft, another SVE senior. The first two periods were a wash between the two wrestlers. Wood then got the take down in the third period and was able to keep a tight grip on Craft for the fall at 4:40.
The Cardinals got their first points of the dual in the 195 pound match after Ethan Hofacker won by a short decision of 1-0 over Jeff Kopacz.
Kopacz was positioned on the bottom with less than a minute on the clock. He tried three times to break the hold and get the escape, but Hofacker held a tight grip for the win.
The Toppers gained back their momentum after Donovan Fornal won his match against Michael Roesler at 220 pounds.
Fornal got the first takedown and tried several times to get Roesler off his belly and onto his back. Finally in the third period, Fornal sunk in the cradle and got the pin at 4:23.
The Toppers scored their final points of the night at 285 pounds when Brennan Kessler got an early take down on fellow senior, DJ Wheeler and then put him on his back for a pin in 36 seconds.
The Cardinals then received 12 points after the Toppers forfeited at 106 and the SVE senior, Derek Huebel pinned Joe Obermueller at 113.
The score then tied at 21-21 during the 120 pound match when Hank Larson pinned Spencer Peterson.
The Cardinals continued to run the scoreboard from that point on with six more points awarded their way on a forfeit at 126 to give them their first lead.
Then Logan Newton beat Marcus Ullom on a 11-5 decision at 132 pounds. Damian Hoitomt lost by a decision as well to Ryan Berg, 6-0.
With three weight classes left, the Toppers needed two pins in order to take the lead and a third to seal to the victory. However, that just wasn’t in the cards.
Jake Carlson faced off against seasoned wrestler, Zach Newton in the 145 pound contest. Newton got two takedowns right away and then continued to run the mat until he won by a decision of 9-1.
The Toppers lost by another decision at 152 after Jake Logghe faced off against Jed Schlegel. The match was called to an end in the third period after Schlegel tech fouled Logghe, 17-1.
The dual ended at 160 pounds with Hunter Chouinard taking on Trent Miller. Miller got two takedowns, a near fall and an escape to win the match on a 7-0 decision.
The Hilltoppers finished in third place as a team against nine other schools at the Cadott Invitational. They had a team total of 146 points; first place went to Cumberland with 184 and Chippewa Falls was second with 179.
Also participating in the tournament was Medord, Luck/Federic/Granstburg, Bruce, Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe and Whitehall.
There was one lone wrestler that earned the title of Champion for the Hilltoppers; senior Jeff Kopacz. He competed at 195 pounds and finished 5-0 on the day.
In round one, he won by fall in 3:00 over Garrett Janicki of Cadott (CAD). Then it was a short decision of 1-0 he won by over Jon Khosa of Cumberland (CUMB). He won by another pin in the third round over Joe Tallman of Chippewa Falls (CF).
His last two matches were won by decisions as well, one of 6-4 over Luke Zegers of Medford (MED) and then 5-2 over Kordel Ralston of Bruce (BRU).
There were three individuals that finished in second place; Brennan Kessler (285), Blayze Wood (182) and Isaac Tuttle (170).
Kessler won his first three matches by fall. He beat Austin Pippin (MED) in 1:19, then Gabe Solberg (CF) in 1:26 and Taylor Pease (CUMB) in 1:34. His only loss of the day came to Donny Ralston (BRU) on a 6-0 decision.
Wood placed second after beating Parker Levine (CF) on a 8-1 decision. He pinned Steven Holdt (LFG) in 34 seconds. He also pinned Jake Merril (MED) in 1:18. His one loss was to Jaylen Lansin (CUMB) on a 7-1 decision.
As for Tuttle, he finished with three wins and then the one loss in the championship round to Tony Britton (LFG). The final match came down to a one point deficit as Tuttle lost on a 4-3 decision.
His victories however, were all by fall in under two minutes over Keaton Garnatz (LFG), Tyler Ingebretson (CF) and Jacob Stamos (MED).
In third place for the Hilltoppers was Donovan Fornal at 220 pounds. He finished third after beating Joe Miejnek (CUMB) by fall and also winning by fall over Austin Knopps (WH).
He was pinned by Brandon Bucki (MED) and Ben Stone (CUMB); Stone took first place in the weight class.
There were four wrestlers that took fourth place for the Toppers; Marcus Ullom (132), Damian Hoitomt (138), Jake Carlson (145) and Jake Logghe (152).
Ullom won his one match by a tech foul over Sam Rieder (CF) with a final decision of 16-1. He lost to Hunter Dodds (LFG), Ben Adams (BRU) and Max Patraw (CUMB).
Hoitomt won his only match by a fall in 3:44 against Kris Nagel (BRU). He lost to Luke Christensen (LFG), Shawn Sura (CF) and Cole Ackley (CAD).
As for Carlson, his one win came against Dylan Vitense (CAD) by a fall in 2:42. He lost to Tate Pabst (CF), Tucker Peterson (MED), and Trystin Adams (CUMB).
Lastly, was Logghe with his one victory also by a fall. He pinned Parker Henrichs (MED) in 2:51. His losses were to Tristan Brewer (LFG), Kyle Zerbian (CF), Jacob Runge (CF) and Dominick Grimm (CAD).
Finishing in fifth place was Hunter Chouinard in the 160 pound weight bracket. He wrestled his fellow teammate and brother, Hogan in the final match for fifth. Hunter pinned Hogan in 3:29 to slide Hogan down to seventh place.
Also doubling up in a weight class and finishing in seventh place was Quentin Rogers at 170. He won one match by fall in 1:13 over Keaton Garnatz (LFG). He lost to Jacob Stamos (MED), Will Steiger (CF) and Matt Kostka (COR).
Rounding out the roster in seventh place on the day was Spencer Peterson at 120 pounds. He had one win on the day, which came by a major decision of 12-2 over fellow freshman, Casey Haas (MED). He lost to Eric Nedland (COR), Casey Hedrington (CF) and Drew Rihn (CUMB).
Next on the schedule for the Hilltoppers is a dual in Mondovi against the Buffaloes this Thursday, January 16 starting at 7:00 p.m.
The team will then travel to Zumbrota, MN on Saturday (Jan 18) for a tournament at the Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School that starts at 9:00 a.m.