By Cara L. Dempski
BLOOMER — Will this be the last year Colfax athletes wrestle as part of a cooperative team with Bloomer?
Will the Viking grapplers have their own team for the 2018-2019 season?
Will there be any Colfax wrestlers next year?
These are all questions a small group of Viking wrestlers are facing as they head into the final year of an agreement formed eight years ago to wrestle with the Bloomer squad as part of a co-op team.
Earlier this year, the Messenger reported the Colfax school board will have to decide if the school will have it’s own wrestling team next season by March 31, 2018.
Meanwhile, the group of seven Colfax wrestlers head coach Jim Poirier welcomes to the team for the 2017-2018 season will make the best of the sport for the Blackhawks this year.
Colfax wrestler Cole Anderson-Olson made it to Madison last season as a senior, but failed to qualify for the quarterfinal round after losing to Whitewater’s Jimmy DuVal on an 8-6 decision in the 182-pound class. He graduated this past May, leaving Poirier with a group of four underclassmen to help fill in the lower and middle weight classes for Bloomer/Colfax this season.
Junior Tommy Anderson returns to wrestle for the 2017-2018 season after going 16-22 over the course of 2016. He ended his sophomore season at the WIAA Division 2 Ellsworth regional in the third-place match after Osseo-Fairchild/Augusta/Fall Creek’s Jesse Zamora got the pin on him at :55.
Other juniors wrestling as part of the team this year for Colfax are Dalton Schotter and Dalton Klukas.
Sophomore Sawyer Best got off to a good season last year as a freshman, but it was cut short by a season-ending injury. He competed at 106 pounds and was 11-2 before his injury. The letter winner is joined by a second Viking wrestler who picked up a varsity letter his freshman season: Mitchel Harmon.
Harmon, also a sophomore, picked up a 28-10 record in his first varsity season and finished the year with a second-place finish at 132 pounds in the Division 2 sectional at Amery, but fell to Chilton/Hilbert junior Abraham Sell in the quarterfinal qualifying match in Madison.
Sophomore Trey Hovde joins the fray for 2017-2018 after not wrestling as part of the co-op for the 2016-2017 season. He boasts third- and fourth-place finishes in the West Central Wisconsin 2 Style Challenge in the 119-125 pound class this past April.
Freshman Julio Hernandez is one Colfax wrestler Poirier sees high potential in (the other is Hovde). The ninth-grade student will try to make his mark inside the circle this season while Colfax’s wrestling future hangs in the balance.
Jim Poirier is in his 18th season coaching the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks will debut at the 2017 John Timm Duals in Glenwood City this Saturday, December 2 before heading to Ladysmith December 7 and Eau Claire North December 9.
Juniors: Tommy Anderson, Dalton Klukas, Dalton Schotter.
Sophomores: Sawyer Best, Mitchel Harmon and Trey Hovde.
Freshman: Julio Hernandez.