WISCONSIN DELLS — The Dells Duals Classic has rapidly become one of the premiere early season wrestling tournaments in the state.
This year’s tournament field swelled to 28 teams in five different pools and featured eight state ranked teams from across all three divisions including Boyceville, ranked seventh in this season’s first Wisconsin Wrestling Online poll.
For the second straight year, the Bulldogs, seated seventh in the first Division 3 rankings of the season, finished second in their pool. Boyceville went 3-2 in duals at the 2014 tournament held Saturday, December 13 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Boyceville competed in Pool B and finished 3-1 in the round-robin format with wins over third-ranked Mineral Point, DeForest, and Laconia (those three finished third through fifth respectively). The Bulldogs suffered their lone loss of pool play to eventual champion and Division 1 ranked Elkhorn.
Boyceville also lost to Stoughton, ranked fourth in the Division 1 poll, in a Pool A-B crossover match. Stoughton defeated Spring Valley/Elmwood to take the Pool A title.
Pools A and B featured the top-ranked squads of the dual tournament and included a crossover match for each of the five teams in those two pools. The remaining three pools (C-E) consisted of six teams each.
“I was very pleased with the response our kids showed after the disappointing match against Clear Lake (on Thursday),” said Jamie Olson, Boyceville head coach.
“We came out with a lot of intensity in that first dual and it carried throughout the day,” continued Olson.
“I had a chance to match up our best kids against some of the best kids in the state,” Olson added. “When you can do that early in the year and get a feel for what our weaknesses are, we can get after them now and be ready for the push at the end (of the season.”
Five Bulldog grapplers finished the tournament with winning records against some of Wisconsin’s best.
Dyllon Johnson (106), Austin Wolfe (113) and Micah Johnson (152/160) each finished the tournament at 4-1 to lead the Bulldogs. Logan McAbee tallied three wins in four matches at 182 pounds and Brandon Windsor had a 3-2 mark at 285 pounds.
Micah Johnson opened the tournament wrestling at 160 against Laconia’s Zach Coffeen (a state qualifier at 145 last February) and earned a 12-5 win. Micah dropped back to his usually 152-pound slot where he edged Konnor Mohr of Elkhorn 7-4 and pinned both Bret Williams of DeForest and Joe Jensen in under a minute.
Johnson’s lone loss, his first in over a year and only his second of his young high school career, came in the Bulldogs’ dual against Mineral Point.
The 152-pound match pitted junior Scott Pittz, ranked number one in the Division 3, 160-pound weight class, against Johnson, who is a defending state champ and top-ranked wrestler in the early 152-pound poll after taking third at state last season in the same weight class.
Johnson and Pittz wrestled to a 2-2 deadlock at the end of regulation. In the first overtime, Pittz scored a takedown for a sudden victory, 4-2.
Micah’s younger sibling, freshman Dyllon Johnson, also carved out a four-win tournament. Dyllon opened with a trio of pins. He stuck Laconia’s Dylan Jacob in 1:05, followed that with a 43 second fall of Bailey Lawinger of Mineral Point before getting a third-period pin against Nolan Kraus of Stoughton. Dyllon lost his only match of the day in the next round when he fell 15-0 to fellow freshman Benji Peak of Elkhorn (ranked sixth in Division 1). Johnson received a forfeit against DeForest to finish his tournament.
Senior Austin Wolfe began and ended his tournament with a pair of falls and forfeits at 113 pounds. The only blemish was a middle round loss of 7-1, to Stoughton’s Brandon Klein.
Wolfe stuck Laconia’s Zachary Foth in the first round and Elkhorn’s Jayce Coffey in the fourth round and received forfeits in his second and fifth round matches.
Senior Logan McAbee-Thomas went 3-1 on the day at 182 pounds with a fall over Cowan Mulder of Laconia, 12-8 decision against Kyle Juedes of Mineral Point and a forfeit in the Stoughton dual. He lost to Elkhorn’s Keaton Verhoeven by fall.
Heavyweight Brandon Windsor scored victories in his first three matches, all via falls including a 12 second pin of Laconia’s Taylor Stafford in the first-round dual. Windsor was pinned in his final two matches to finish 3-2.
Brock Swenson (120), James Palmer (126/132), Tyler Stroo (132/138), Cody Frederick (138/145), and Alex Lovett (170/182) each finished 2-3. Jordan Morse was 2-2 at 160 pounds.
Freshman Garrett Joles (knee) and senior Jake Lake (ankle) did not wrestle in the Dells Duals due to injuries.
Boyceville drew Laconia in the first round of competition. The Bulldogs won nine out of ten bouts from 285 pounds to 160 pounds and dominated with a 55-21 win. Logan McAbee-Thomas (182), Brandon Windsor (285), Dyllon Johnson (106), Austin Wolfe (113), Tyler Stroo (138), Cody Frederick (145), and Justin Malean (152) all registered pins. James Palmer had a 11-3 major decision at 132 pounds.
Seventh-ranked Boyceville and third-ranked Mineral Point each won seven matches when they tangled in round two but the Bulldogs’ had four pins and a pair of forfeits that help boost them to a 39-29 win. Boyceville ran out to a 30-10 lead as Jake Erickson, Brandon Windsor, and Dyllon Johnson each won on falls and Austin Wolfe and Jason Swanepoel earned forfeits.
But the Pointers came roaring back with five straight wins from 132 to 160 including Pittz overtime win against Micah Johnson to cut the Bulldogs lead to just one at 20-29.
Alex Lovett and Logan McAbee-Thomas would stop the streaking Pointers cold and give Boyceville the win in the final two matches. Lovett pinned at 170 pounds and McAbee-Thomas won a 12-8 decision at 182 pounds.
Stoughton would hand Boyceville its first loss of the day when the Bulldogs and Vikings met in round 3 for a crossover match between Pool A and B competitors.
Boyceville crafted an early 12-3 advantage with a pins by Brandon Windsor (285) and Dyllon Johnson (106). Stoughton, however, would win the next six matches to take a 30-12 lead.
It would not be until Micah Johnson scored a pin over Joe Jensen at 152 pounds that Boyceville was able to put some more points on the board. Jordan Morse earned a 12-0 major decision at 160. But Stoughton took two of the final three matches for a 42-28 win.
“Drawing Stoughton in the crossover match was a great measuring stick for our kids,” said Olson. “They are a very solid team with some outstanding individuals.”
Returning to Pool B action in the fourth round, Boyceville would again find itself on the short end of the score in a 46-24 loss to eventually pool titlist Elkhorn.
Boyceville trailed the entire match and found itself down 31-9 after eight matches before Micah Johnson won a decision at 152, Alex Lovett pinned at 170 and Noah Novotney drew a forfeit at 195 pounds.
Boyceville would find its winning ways in the fifth and final round.
The Bulldogs jumped on DeForest early and sprinted to a 33-0 lead with pins from Brock Swenson (120), James Palmer (126), and Cody Frederick (138), and two forfeits (106 and 113).
Micah Johnson and Jordan Morse would tack on Boyceville’s final points with pins at 152 and 160 pounds respectively for a 45-6 advantage. DeForest closed the match with five straight wins including two by fall and another by major decision for a final tally of 45-28.
A junior varsity tournament was held the evening prior to the duals and Boyceville had three champions crowned. Zach Smith (152), Tyler Krueger (145), and Jason Swanepoel (126) finished atop their weight classes. Brandon Hakanson and Jerod Nelson finished second, Gavin Olson and Alec Schaffer placed third, and Tanner Anderson took fourth.