Boyceville places third, Glenwood City sixth in BR/DSC Challenge
RIVER FALLS — It was a buzz saw.
The 2016 Big River/Dunn-St. Croix Conference Wrestling Challenge boasted one of the strongest fields in recent years and featured several state-ranked wrestlers and teams.
Boyceville and Glenwood City both acquitted themselves well amongst the bevy of state talent at the annual tournament held this past Saturday, February 6, at River Falls High School.
The Bulldogs, currently rated seventh in the latest online poll by Wisconsin Wrestling, earned third at this year’s Big Rivers/Dunn-St. Croix Challenge after finishing fourth the previous two years. Boyceville also finished second among the Dunn-St. Croix schools for the third straight year.
Sixth-ranked Spring Valley/Elmwood, the defending Division 3 state champion, finished second overall and tops among D-SC squads.
Glenwood City showed the biggest improvement of any team in Saturday’s tournament. After they finished dead last in the 12-team tournament a year ago, the Hilltoppers vaulted to a sixth-place finish this season, a testament to their resilience that has earned them a 17 dual win this season along with honorable mention in the state rankings.
Hudson ran away with its second consecutive BR/DSC title. The Raiders showed why they hold the state’s top ranking in Division one as they dominated the tournament with six individual champions and four runners-up. Hudson tallied 296 points to finish well ahead of second-place finisher Spring Valley/Elmwood at 226.5. Boyceville finished with 187 points followed by River Falls (rated 11th in D1) at 159.5, Eau Claire North scored 139, Glenwood City racked up 128 points, Eau Claire Memorial had 86, Menomonie (the champ in 2014 and runner-up last year) also finished with 86 points, Rice Lake finished with 79.5, Durand had 59.5, Mondovi scored 49 points and Chippewa Falls rounded out the field with 45.
Although six area wrestlers – four from Boyceville and two from Glenwood City – did make the finals, none were able to claim a win in their respective gold-medal matches.
But both teams did have several wrestlers make the Dunn-St. Croix All-Conference teams.
Nine Bulldogs earned that distinction including six on the first team. James Palmer, Brock Schlough, Cody Frederick, Micah Johnson, Garret Joles and Brandon Windsor were first-team honorees while Dyllon Johnson, Justin Malean and Noah Novotney received second-team distinction.
The Hilltoppers had six of their wrestlers earn All D-SC honors. Jake Nadeau was Glenwood City’s lone first-team recipient. Second-team awards went to Austin Curvello, Carson Strong, Marcus Ullom, Jake O’Meara and Hogan Chouinard.
The WIAA tournament series begins this Saturday, February 13 with regional competition. Both Glenwood City and Boyceville will be competing in the Division 3 Cadott Regional along with teams from Spring Valley/Elmwood, Clear Lake (two-time Lakeland Conference champions), Eau Claire Regis, Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe and host Cadott. Spring Valley/Elmwood, Boyceville, Clear Lake and Glenwood City are all ranked. Wrestling will begin at 10:30 a.m.
The winning team will earn a berth in the February 16 team sectional at Boyceville. The top two individual place winners at each weight class will advance to the individual sectional tournament to be held at Osseo-Fairchild High School on Saturday, February 20.
Glenwood City and Boyceville, however, still have some unfinished business to settle prior to this weekend’s regional tournament. The annual rivalry dual that had been scheduled for last Tuesday, February 2 in Glenwood City was postponed due to the snow storm. The dual was wrestled last evening (Feb. 9) in Boyceville. The venue was changed because the Glenwood City gym was already scheduled to host a basketball game.
Head coach Jamie Olson termed the day a success although none of Boyceville’s four finalists were able to capture a title.
Olson recognized just how strong the overall field at this year’s BR/DSC Challenge was.
“It was a very tough tournament with numerous state-championship caliber wrestlers at every weight,” stated Olson.
“I was pleased to take third place,” he added. “Our goal was to take second as a team but I did feel good about where we placed.”
“We had a tough championship round,” continued Olson. “But we battled hard in those matches. I’m okay with some of those loses as long as we take something positive from those defeats and learn from some of our mistakes.”
Juniors James Palmer and Micah Johnson along with sophomore Garrett Joles and freshman Brock Schlough made last Saturday’s finals but finished second. With the exception of Palmer who fell to a Menomonie wrestler, the other three lost their title matches to ranked wrestlers from Hudson.
Just missing the finals were four other Bulldogs. Cody Frederick copped Boyceville’s only third while Dyllon Johnson, Justin Malean and Brandon Windsor place fourth.
In all, a dozen Bulldogs placed at last Saturday’s Big Rivers/Dunn-St. Croix Challenge. Boyceville did not field wrestlers at 113 and 126 pounds.
“Palmer, Schlough and Joles continue to perform at a high level,” said Coach Olson. “These guys work so hard and I look forward to what they can bring into the tournament series.”
“And it sure is nice to have Micah Johnson back in the lineup,” added Olson.
“All four of those finalists lost to gritty, tough Division 1 kids,” Olson said.
Boyceville’s silver-medal quartet along with Frederick finished the day with 3-1 records.
James Palmer made his way to the 132-pound championship with a pair of pins after receiving an opening round bye. Palmer pinned Hudson’s Gabriel Franck in 1:52 and followed it by sticking Rice Lake’s Brohde Aspseter in 3:34 of the semifinal’s round. Menomonie’s Hayden Schlough, ranked ninth in Division 1, blanked the sixth-ranked (D3) Palmer 3-0 in a close championship bout. Palmer is currently 33-4
Brock Schlough improved to an impressive 32-4 on his freshman campaign after his second-place showing at 138 pounds. Like Palmer, Schlough lost a close title match following a pair of pin fall victories. Schlough pocketed second-period falls against conference foes Cooper Stevens of Spring Valley/Elmwood and Marcus Ullom of Glenwood City. In the finals, ninth-ranked Jacob Anderson, a Hudson sophomore, won 7-5 decision over Schlough, who was most recently ranked third at that weight in the D3 standings.
At 170 pounds, Micah Johnson kept his unblemished recored intact through the three rounds with a bye, a first-period pin of Durand’s Larz Fedie and a 22-5 technical fall over Othayun Smith from Eau Claire Memorial. The final’s match paired a couple of unbeaten and number-two rated wrestlers as Johnson took on Hudson’s Sawyer Massie. The Raiders’ senior prevailed on a 10-2 major decision and improved to 36-0. It was Johnson’s (14-1) first loss of the season.
Yet another Hudson wrestler awaited Boyceville’s fourth finalist – Garrett Joles. With byes in the first two rounds, Joles needed just an 18-8 major decision over Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Quinton Elliott to earn a spot in the title match opposite Dylan Anderson of Hudson. The championship was a battle of second-ranked wrestlers with Anderson coming out on top via a 13-5 major decision.
Cody Frederick opened with a bye and pin at 145 pounds. He lost 10-2 to Eau Claire North’s Justin Peterson, a two-time Division 1 state qualifier, in the semifinal’s but rebounded for a 5-1 win over Cole Paulson of Rice Lake in the third-place match.
Fourth place finishes were turned in by Justin Malean, who went 3-1 at 160 pounds and Dyllon Johnson (120) and Brandon Windsor (285), who both finished 2-2. Olson noted that Windsor’s 285-pound bracket was arguably the toughest in the tournament with losses to a pair of Eau Claire wrestlers including eventual champion Jack Carruth of North, who Windsor had beaten the previous week.
Finishing with 4-1 records, Nick Goodell and Alec Schaffer, placed fifth at 106 and 195 pounds respectively. Noah Novotney finished sixth at 220 pounds. Tyler Krueger, who wrestled at 152 pounds, did not place.
At last year’s conference tournament, the Hilltoppers’ had just four place winners and topped out with a pair of fourth-place finishes.
What a difference a year can make.
Glenwood City emerged with 11 place winners after the conclusion of last Saturday’s conference meet at River Falls High School. The Hilltoppers did not have competitors at 182, 220 and 285 pounds.
That tally included a pair of silver medalists, a bronze and three fourth-place finishers.
State-ranked sophomores Jacob Nadeau and Carson Strong led the Glenwood City contingent with two second-place finishes.
Jake O’Meara took third at 152 pounds and Austin Curvello, Marcus Ullom and Hogan Chouinard placed fourth. Nadeau, Strong and O’Meara went 3-1 on the day.
After a first-round bye, Nadeau made quick work of his first opponent as he pinned Del Keyes of Menomonie in just 46 seconds. Nadeau earned his second pin of the tournament in the semifinals against Eau Claire North’s Carter Duerkop. In the finals, Nadeau held a lead over Hudson’s Micthell Anderson until he was reversed and lost 7-4 to take the silver.
“Jake wrestled a very good tournament,” said Glenwood City head coach Shane Strong. “He was in the lead in the finals with 20 seconds left and was reversed to his back. Up to that point he had wrestled a very sound match.”
Carson Strong eclipsed the 30-win mark with a couple of wins at 126 pounds. Strong’s first mat action came in the quarterfinals’ where he scored a 1:49 fall against Jacob Guibord of Eau Claire Memorial. In the semifinal’s match, Carson Strong shut out Mondovi’s Nick Pelke 5-0 for the win. Strong faced another D-SC wrestler in the finals, senior and fourth-ranked Ryan Berg of Spring Valley/Elmwood. Strong was unable to score and lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Ryan.
“Carson also wrestled well,” noted Coach Shane Strong, “but he needs to find a way to get to his leg attacks against Berg. Spring Valley wrestlers are very good at defense and really wait for you to make a mistake.
“Carson took some good shot attempts but has not been able to pass Berg’s head and hand defense,” added the coach.
Like Strong and Nadeau, Jake O’Meara lost just once at Saturday’s BR/DSC Challenge but his came in the semifinals. After a bye and a quarterfinal’s win of 6-0 over Callub Paulson of Rice Lake, the Toppers’ tenth-ranked 152 pounder was pinned by Hudson’s Ryan Devitt in the semis. O’Meara bounced back to win the third place match by a 7-5 count over Dawson Eilts of Eau Claire North.
A trio of wrestlers lost their bids for bronze.
Austin Curvello (113), Marcus Ullom (138) and Hogan Chouinard (195) finished fourth after dropping their final two matches at conference.
Curvello advanced to the semifinals with a bye and subsequent 12-4 major decision over Michael Rebozo of River Falls. But in the 113-pound semifinal, seventh-ranked Drew Klabon of Hudson pinned Curvello in 1:24. Dylan Bune of Spring Valley/Elmwood then bested him 18-6 in the third-place match.
Marcus Ullom made the 138-pound semifinal’s with a bye and 6-2 decision over Tyler Mallett of Eau Claire North. Ullom, however, was pinned by Boyceville’s freshman phenom Brock Schlough in the semifinals and then dropped an 8-1 decision in for third to River Falls’ Jason Wood.
Hogan Chouinard beat Boyceville’s Alec Schaffer in the quarterfinal’s of 195 pounds. Chouinard, ranked tenth, fell to state-ranked Drew Midby of Hudson via pin fall and lost a 2-1 decision to Ryan Asher of Spring Valley/Elmwood for third place.
“Hogan lost two tough matches on Saturday,” said Coach Strong. “He was winning in the semifinal’s match when he made a crucial mistake that landed him on his back. In the third place match, Hogan was the aggressor and took several shots and twice got in on single but was not able to finish.”
Other Toppers’ place winners were Brad Kessler, sixth at 120 pounds; Jacob Kopacz, seventh at 170 pounds; and Spencer Peterson and Cody Bonte, eighth at 160 and 145 pounds respectively. Joe Obermueller competed at 132 pounds but did not place.