HUDSON — Just two days removed from its heart-breaking three-point loss to Spring Valley/Elmwood in the Dunn-St. Croix dual opener, Boyceville was back on the wrestling mats looking to wash away some of the bitter taste of the defeat and move forward.
The Bulldogs found plenty of excellent competition and challenges to occupy their attention at the annual Hudson Dual Tournament on Saturday, January 10.
Boyceville competed against four large schools including a three from Minnesota as well as host Hudson, currently ranked sixth in the latest Division 1 polls.
And Boyceville acquitted themselves well over the course of the day to finish 2-2, handily beating both Stillwater, MN (47-15) and Harding, MN (72-4) with losses to Hutchinson, MN (40-34) and Hudson (51-12).
In addition, a pair of Boyceville grapplers finished the tournament unbeaten. Senior Austin Wolfe and sophomore James Palmer went a perfect 4-0 at their respective weight classes of 113 and 120 pounds. Three other Bulldogs, Jordan Morse, Garrett Joles, and Justin Malean, capped their day’s competition with 3-1 marks. Cody Frederick, Dyllon Johnson, Brock Swenson, Tyler Stroo, and Brandon Windsor tallied 2-2 records.
“A tough tournament like always,” stated Boyceville head coach Jamie Olson.
Boyceville squared off against Hutchinson, MN to open tournament action. Olson noted that Hutchinson, ranked in the Minnesota polls, is a “solid program with tough kids” including a phenomenal Division 1 wrestler at heavyweight.
“Came up a bit short but thought our kids wrestled well all the way through,” said Olson of his team’s 40-34 loss to Hutchinson in the opening dual.
Jordan Morse and Garrett Joles opened the dual with back-to-back pins for a quick 12-0 Boyceville lead.
But Hutchinson took the next five matches – four by falls and the other on a major – to vault ahead 28-12.
Austin Wolfe’s pin at 113 pounds followed by James Palmer’s 14-4 major decision at 120 helped the Bulldogs narrow the deficit to six points.
Hutchinson, however, scored victories in the next three matches including a pin at 138 pounds to forge a 40-22 advantage. Boyceville closed with a pair of pins to make the final 40-34.
Round two opponent Stillwater proved to be the perfect tonic for Boyceville. The Bulldogs won eight straight and nine of the last ten matches for a 47-15 win over the Ponies.
Garrett Joles and Alex Lovett gave Boyceville an early 7-0 lead with wins at 170 and 182 pounds respectively. Stillwater won the next two matches including a pin at 220 pounds to go in front 9-7.
But the Bulldogs would score victories in the next eight matches from 285 to 145 pounds which included pins by Austin Wolfe (113) and Brock Swenson (126) and a forfeit at 120 for a 41-9 advantage.
Stillwater received a forfeit at 152 only to have Jordan Morse capped the dual with 48 second pin at 160 pounds for a 47-15 Boyceville win.
“Bounced back and wrestled really well against Stillwater,” Olson stated. “We dominated them and they were a pretty descent team. We won the close matches and some kids that go knocked off in the first round came back and wrestled real strong.”
Boyceville jumped into the third round and right into the fire as it squared off against the tournament’s top team – Hudson.
The Raiders, fresh off a second place showing at the Bi-State over the holiday break, took 11 of the 14 matches for a convincing 51-12 win.
“They just have athletes all the way through (their line up) and have some big, strong kids,” Olson said.
“They took it to us but it was good for us,” added Olson. “We wrestled tough kids and lost some close matches. We lost 2-1 at 106, 3-1 at 132, Wolfe won a tight one at 113 so all the way through there were good match-ups for us.”
Wolfe’s 8-5 win was Boyceville’s first of the dual after Hudson opened with five straight wins. James Palmer followed with a pin at 120 pounds and Brock Swenson scored an 8-4 win at 126 to give Boyceville its only wins of the dual.
Boyceville wrapped up the tournament with a dominating performance against Harding. The Bulldogs won 13 of the 14 matches for a 72-4 win. Pins were made by Brandon Windsor (285), Dyllon Johnson (106), Austin Wolfe (113), Justin Malean (145), Zach Smith (152), and Jordan Morse (160). Boyceville also received five forfeits (195, 220, 132, 138, and 170).
Although Harding did not have a lot of wrestlers according to Olson, it did have a really tough kid at 120 that is ranked high in state at 120 pounds. In the best match of the dual, James Palmer prevailed 4-3.
“Overall, it was a good day with some great competition,” concluded Olson.