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Boyceville is regional runner-up again as seven wrestlers advance

CADOTT — Boyceville held nothing back in its pursuit of a regional wrestling championship last Saturday.

And Boyceville head coach Jamie Olson would have it no other way.

His Bulldogs relentlessly chased the Cardinals of Spring Valley/Elmwood throughout the day.

 “I believe in 12 weights we wrestled to our seed or higher,” noted Olson. “When you do that you have a chance to win tournaments.”

“The two that we lost did not cost us the tournament,” added Olson. “We needed other teams to help us knock guys off and that just did not happen.”

Boyceville wrestled great but Spring Valley/Elmwood was even better on this day.

“We even thew the kitchen sink at them,” said Olson jokingly. “But it didn’t help.”

The defending Division 3 state champion Cardinals were on a mission.

Spring Valley/Elmwood racked up 274 points in the WIAA Division 3 Regional held last Saturday, February 13 at Cadott and claimed its fourth consecutive regional championship and a berth in last evening’s team sectional held in Boyceville’s home gymnasium.

Trailing Spring Valley/Elmwood and Boyceville in the final regional standings were Clear Lake (champions of the Lakeland) with 163 points, Glenwood City at 123.5, host Cadott with 109 points, Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe had 76 and Eau Claire Regis brought up the rear in the seven-team tournament with 17 points. The top three teams were all ranked in the top 12 of the Wisconsin Wrestling’s most recent online poll while Glenwood City was honorable mention.

“I believe that Spring Valley/Elmwood won six one- or two-point matches and had four pins in the finals,” stated Olson. “They wrestled to their seed or higher in every weight. When they did that, what are you going to do? Plus they knocked us off in a couple of matches and we didn’t knock them off at all.”

“You can’t beat that, we tried,” admitted Olson. “We gave it everything we had but came up short.”

But Olson and his charges are not hanging their collective heads. Instead, they are celebrating their successes which included seven sectional qualifiers and a quartet of regional titlist all while using the outcome as a motivational tool for future campaigns.

Olson said the focus is now on getting all seven of his remaining wrestlers through the sectional meet and on to state.

James Palmer (132), Brock Schlough (138), Cody Frederick (145) and Garrett Joles (182) dominated their respective weight brackets en route to winning individual regional championships.  Palmer and Joles both repeated as regional titlists while Frederick and Schlough won their first crowns.

In addition, the Brothers Johnson – Dyllon and Micah – along with Justin Malean punched their sectional tickets with second-place finishes. Dyllon came in second at 120 pounds, Micah was the runner-up at 170 and Malean took silver at 160 pounds.

The top two place winners in each of the 14 weight classes advance to the WIAA Division 3 Individual Wrestling Sectional to be held at Osseo-Fairchild High School this Saturday, February 20. Spring Valley/Elmwood had 11 wrestlers including seven champions reach the sectional tournament. Clear Lake will send four, Cadott three, Glenwood City has two sectional participants and Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe one.

Palmer was the first Bulldog to secure a regional title and sectional berth.

The junior needed just two matches to take the 132-pound gold medal after he was awarded a first-round bye as the top seed. Palmer, who is also ranked sixth in the D3 state poll at that weight, needed just 1:16 to pin Kole Smith of Glenwood City in the semifinals before dominating his championship match against Logan Newton of Spring Valley/Elmwood by a 9-2 count and improved to 37-4 on the year.

Freshman Brock Schlough added to the Bulldogs’ gold run. He used a pair of pins to secure the title at 138 pounds. Afforded a first-round bye as the top seed, Schlough needed just 55 seconds to take down his first opponent of the day, Brandon Pederson of Cadott.

In the finals, Schlough drew a familiar foe in Marcus Ullom. He had just beaten the Glenwood City junior 14-0 when they tangled just four days prior at a dual in Boyceville. Schlough prevailed once again as he pinned Ullom in 2:18 to win the championship.

Cody Frederick would make it three straight regional titles for Boyceville with a semifinals’ pin and a thrilling 3-2 win over Tyler Gillett of Cadott in the 145-pound championship.

Garrett Joles added the Bulldogs’ fourth individual title at 182 pounds. Joles, who had a first-round bye, lived up to his number two ranking as he dominated both of his regional opponents. In the semifinals, Joles stuck Cadott’s Ethan Haider in 1:18. He followed that with a 11-4 victory over Quinton Elliot of Spring Valley/Elmwood for the gold.

Micah Johnson and Justin Malean lost their championship bouts.

Micah Johnson, whose accolades include a state championship and  bronze, made his way into the 170-pound title with a 47 second pin of Cadott’s Hayden Thompson. But Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Jed Schlegel beat Micah 8-6 for the crown. Johnson had retained his second when he pinned Glenwood City’s Jake Kopacz in a wrestleback.

Justin Malean nipped Glenwood City’s Spencer Peterson 1-0 in a semifinal’s match at 160 but was pinned in the championship match by Devon Johnson of Spring Valley/Elmwood and finished with the silver.

Defending regional heavyweight champion and the weight’s top ranked wrestler, Brandon Windsor suffered a stunning semifinal’s loss. In his first match of the day, Windsor put a head lock on Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Dakota Elsenpeter and took him to the mat. But Elsenpeter was able to somehow roll through the move and put Windsor on his back for the pin in just 38 seconds.

Windsor rebounded to pin Clear Lake’s Sam Dusek just 21 ticks into the third place match but he never got a chance to wrestle for second and a sectional berth. Elsenpeter was pinned in the finals as Windsor watched his senior season and career come to a heart-wrenching end.

“Brandon got caught. He threw the kid in a head lock and he rolled him through,” Olson said. “We went after it and just got rolled through.”

“Brandon has had a great year and he has worked really hard. I feel bad for him,” added Olson. “He is a great kid that will be very successful in life. He’s smart and focused and will get through this but it will take some time for this to heal.”

Unlike Windsor, sophomore Noah Novotney and freshman Braxton Ludtke will have other opportunities at a sectional berth and more. Novotney finished third at 220 pounds and Ludtke was the bronze medalist at 113 pounds.

Fourth places finishes went to Nick Goodell at 106 pounds and Tyler Krueger at 152. Jason Swanepoel and Alex Schaffer finished in fifth at 126 and 195 pounds respectively.

Saturday’s sectional action begins at 10:00 a.m. The first three place finishers at each weight class will advance to the state tournament to be held Feb. 25-27 at the Kohl Center in Madison.