By Cara L. Dempski
KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA — Colfax senior wrestler Cole Olson was treated to some warm weather and sunny skies when he and several of his Bloomer teammates traveled to Florida for the 2016 KSA Events Classic and Holiday Duals Wrestling Tournament.
The tournament was held December 18 through 22 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Center in Kissimmee, Florida. The facility is part of the Disney World Resort, and competitors stayed in Disney Hotels. The KSA website states the event regularly draws teams from all over the United States.
Blackhawk coach Jim Poirier said this is the team’s fourth appearance in the tournament. He first took the wrestlers to the event several years ago, and has tried to take the team every four years.
Olson wrestled at 195 pounds against six different opponents and came away with five wins. He took on a fellow Wisconsinite in Reedsville’s Mike Griffey and lost three points after pushing the match to a 4-2 decision in Griffey’s favor. The Blackhawk team fared poorly against Reedsville, scoring only 15 points to the Panthers’ 60.
Olson then took on Ben Elliot of Orange Park, Florida, beating him with a fall in the second period to pick up his first six points and helping the Bloomer/Colfax grapplers to a 42-40 win. Olson next won a forfeit against Miami Jackson Senior High School from Miami, Florida. The Blackhawks fell to the Generals 33-30.
Olson matched up against James Madison High School’s Josh Morgan, earning a fall against the Vienna, Virginia, wrestler to help the Blackhawks to a 44-33 victory. The Bloomer/Colfax co-op took on the Wekiva High School Mustangs from Apopka, Florida. The Blackhawks edged the Mustangs 40-36, and Olson bested Wekiva’s Christopher Rodriguez with a fall.
The Colfax senior met Armwood High School Hawk Michael Brown and got a fall on him in only 50 seconds to give the Blackhawks six points. The Wisconsin team bested the Seffner, Florida, team 60-12.
Poirier said the team won its five-team pool. Bloomer/Colfax lost to Reedsville, WI 60-15 in the championship semifinals before nipping Orange Park, FL 42-40 for third place overall.
The coach seemed pleased with how the Blackhawks performed at the tournament despite each member having a four-day traveler pass and taking full advantage of each Disney Park.
“I didn’t see them very much except when they were wrestling,” Poirier stated.
The Blackhawk wrestlers took a short break for the holiday before hitting the mats in River Falls this Thursday and Friday, December 29 and 30 for the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic. They will not compete again until traveling to Osseo-Fairchild on January 7.