It will be a challenging start to the new year for the Glenwood City wrestlers.
In just the first few weeks of 2017, the Hilltoppers will have had to face the top two teams in the Dunn-St. Croix – state-ranked Spring Valley/Elmwood and Boyceville – on successive Thursdays, compete in a tough Cadott Invitational only to turn around and host a strong Cadott team, a fourth-place finisher at this year’s Northern Badger, in a non-conference dual.
Glenwood City entered that gauntlet this past week with mixed results.
The Toppers quickly fell behind Spring Valley/Elmwood last Thursday when they hosted the Dunn-St. Croix opener for both squads. The Cardinals flew out to a 47-0 lead before the Toppers closed out the home dual with five straight victories to make the final 47-22.
But just two days later, Glenwood City enjoyed one of its best outings of the year as all 11 of its varsity wrestlers placed ninth or higher. The Hilltoppers finished the day in fourth place at the 14-team Cadott tournament.
The Hilltoppers scored 385 points in the January 7 tournament.
Melrose-Mindoro/Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau nipped Medford for the title – 557.5 to 556 while host Cadott came in third with 471.5 points.
The Toppers travel to rival Boyceville Thursday and will be competing in the Ladysmith Invitational Saturday.
Although Spring Valley/Elmwood may not be quite the team that its has been over the past half decade, the Cardinals are still a formidable flock, as they showed in the D-SC dual meet opener in Glenwood City Thursday, January 5.
The Cardinals won the first nine matches in the dual that began at 138 pounds and had put the match out of reach with a 47-0 advantage.
“We knew coming in that SV-E would be tough to beat with our inexperience in the upper weights,” stated Shane Strong, Glenwood City head coach. “I think our new kids are working hard and improving, but they are behind a few years because they didn’t wrestle in junior high.”
State-ranked Cardinal Seth Schlegel set the stage for SV-E’s opening run as he beat the Toppers own state-honoree senior Marcus Ullom 13-5 at 138 pounds.
Spring Valley followed with four pins, another major decision and received forfeits at 160 and 220 pounds for the 47-point lead.
The Toppers’ lineup, however, finally came alive in the lower weights.
Behind at 106 pounds, the Toppers won the final five matches.
Aaron Holmquist started the run with a 6-1 win at 106 pounds. Austin Curvello followed with a 9-0 win at 113, Jacob Nadeau scored a pin at 120, Brad Kessler won an impressive 7-5 overtime decision against state ranked Dylan Bune at 126 and Carson Strong delivered a pin in the 132-pound night cap.
“Our experienced kids wrestled pretty well in the dual and it was evident in their performance,” stated Coach Strong.
“We were able to win the last five weight classes which included a very good win at 126,” added Strong. “Brad Kessler defeated a very good state ranked wrestler in overtime which was his biggest win of his career.”
SV/E 47, Glenwood City 22
138-Seth Schlegel (SVE) majored Marcus Ullom (GC), 13-5; 145-Cooper Stevens (SVE) pinned Tucker Lagerstrom (GC), 3:33; 152-Santana Schlegel (SVE) majored John Pagnotta (GC), 12-0; 160-Cruze Hurlburt (SVE) received forfeit; 170-Kenny Fesenmaier (SVE) pinned Dakota Dean-Immerman (GC), 3:26; 182-Carter Merth (SVE) pinned Carlos Perez (GC), 2:24; 195-Nick Hofacker (SVE) dec. Spencer Peterson (GC), 5-4; 220-Austin Turner (SVE) received forfeit; 285-Dakota Elsenpeter (SVE) pinned Bryce Fayerweather (GC), 0:15; 106– Aaron Holmquist (GC) dec. Ben Anderson (SVE), 6-1; 113-Austin Curvello (GC) majored Luke Deppa (SVE), 9-0; 120-Jacob Nadeau (GC) pinned Clayton Neisinger (SVE), 3:54; 126-Bradley Kessler (GC) dec. Dylan Bune (SVE), SV-1 7-5; 132– Carson Strong (GC) pinned Travis Marty (SVE), 1:40.
All 11 of the Toppers varsity wrestlers placed at the Cadott Invitational Saturday, January 7.
Topping that list were a pair of stated-ranked juniors, Jake Nadeau and Carson Strong.
Nadeau, who received honorable mention in the latest state poll, won the 120-pound title at Cadott while Strong, rated ninth, took gold at 132.
Following a bye in the first round, Carson Strong notched wins by major decisions in his next two matches and finished with a 2-0 shut out of Melrose-Mindoro/GET’s Jacob Summers in the championship.
Nadeau had an impressive showing at Cadott as he defeated the top two 120-pound finishers from the previous week’s Northern Badger Classic.
Nadeau advanced to the semifinals via a bye and injury default where he faced Julian Purney of Mel-Min/GET, the second-ranked wrestler in the weight class in Division 2 and the Northern Badger runner-up. Nadeau scored a 2-0 upset to advance to the finals.
There, he was pitted against hometown favorite Bailey Gillett, ranked third and fresh off a Northern Badger championship win over Purney the week prior. Undaunted, Nadeau, who had finished eighth at this year’s Northern, stepped into the circle and delivered a 4-3 victory over Gillett.
The impressive finish did not end there.
Bryce Fayerweather took third at 285 pounds, Brad Kessler (126), Marcus Ullom (138) and John Pagnotta (152) all garnered fourth while Aaron Holmquist (106), Austin Curvello (113) and Spencer Peterson finished fifth; Dakota Dean-Immerman (170) took sixth and Tucker Lagerstrom (145) was ninth.