BOYCEVILLE — Despite the strategic moves of it’s coaches, the Boyceville wrestling team could not overcome some key absences due to injuries and illness as it fell to Clear Lake 38-31 in its home dual opener Tuesday, December 9.
In a battle of state-ranked squads (Clear Lake is ranked fifth in the first 2014-15 D3 poll and Boyceville is seventh), the Bulldogs were without senior Tyler Stroo, due to the flu, and junior Jake Lake, who was nursing an injured ankle, which forced head coach Jamie Olson and his long-time assistant Corey Day to bump up several of their wrestlers a weight class in order to compensate and give the Bulldogs their best chance for victory.
Clear Lake, however, took advantage of Boyceville’s depleted line-up and scored some key pins to take the win.
“Overall, they out wrestled us,” said head coach Jamie Olson about Clear Lake’s win.
“We had our chances in a couple of matches,” added Olson. “We need to continue working hard and improving on our positioning.”
The Warriors won the dual’s opening two matches.
Freshman Noah Weiczorek put Clear Lake on the scoreboard first with a 9-0 major decision over the ‘Dogs Jake Erickson at 220 pounds.
Mitch Lien, the Warriors’ state-ranked 220 pounder, moved up to heavyweight and scored a late second-period pin on Brandon Windsor to give Clear Lake an early 10-0 advantage.
Boyceville would erase that deficit in the next two matches and knot the dual at 10 aside.
Second-ranked Dyllon Johnson, the younger brother of reigning state champion Micah Johnson, made a successful home debut as he dominated fellow freshman Ryan Anderson 13-1 at 106 pounds, to score the Bulldogs first four points of the dual.
Senior Austin Wolfe, a returning state place winner and also ranked second at his weight class, stuck the Warriors’ Nick Elmer at the 2:24 mark of the pair’s 113-pound match. The pin earned Boyceville six team points and a 10 all deadlock.
Clear Lake would again take the lead with wins in the following two matches – Freshman Gabe Colbeth nipped the Bulldogs Brock Swenson 19-7 at 120 pounds and George Paulzine followed at 126 pounds with a first-period pin of Boyceville freshman Jason Swanepoel.
Boyceville responded with its own back-to-back wins.
Seventh-ranked James Palmer slide up a weight class and earned a 10-4 win over Zach Elmer at 132.
Another promising Boyceville freshman, Cody Frederick, needed just 56 seconds to pin Warrior sophomore Blake Johnson in the 138-pound match and even the team scores at 19 points each.
Holding true to form, the Warriors claimed wins in the next two matches and a 29-19 lead.
Alex Colbeth pinned Dylan Lamm at 3:28 of the 145-pound match and Brandon Aasmundrud followed with a 13-5 major decision over Bulldogs’ freshman Justin Malean at 152.
Over the next two matches, Boyceville was able to forge its first and only lead.
The Warriors gave state champion and top-ranked Micah Johnson a free pass. After Johnson had moved up to 160 pounds, Clear Lake coaches decide to forfeit the match to the Boyceville sophomore.
170-pound freshman Garrett Joles, ranked sixth at that weight class, then gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead, 31-29, with a second-period pin fall against Clear Lake senior Mitch Paulson.
Heading into the second-to–the-last match, senior Logan McAbee-Thomas looked to put the dual in the Bulldogs’ win column with a pin at 182 pounds. Instead, Andrew Johnson scored the pin at 3:00 to help the Warriors retake the lead 35-31.
In the final match at 195 pounds, Ian Ruble held off a rally by Boyceville’s Alex Lovett to score a 6-2 win and secure a 38-31 Clear Lake victory.
“We had great performances from Dyllon Johnson, Austin Wolfe, James Palmer, Cody Frederick, and Garrett Joles,” said Olson.
“This was a tough loss but how you bounce back is a the key to being a good team,” concluded Olson. “I think our kids will be fine.”
Boyceville, who competed in the Dells Duals this past Saturday (see related story), will wrap up its pre-Christmas schedule on the road, traveling to Chetek-Weyerhaeuser/Prairie Farm Thursday (Dec. 18) and to Osceola for an invitational on Saturday (Dec. 20).