Prior to the start of this season, the Glenwood City wrestling team was picked to win few if any conference duals.
Happily, the Hilltoppers have proved their naysayers wrong.
Glenwood City ran its Dunn-St. Croix dual record to a perfect 2-0 with a convincing 45-30 road win over the Mondovi Buffaloes last Thursday.
“We were not picked to win any duals in our conference this year,” Glenwood City head coach Shane Strong stated. “And we have proven that if we wrestle well, we can compete as a team.”
“I’m pleased with our progress this year,” added the coach.
The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 36-0 lead only to see the host Buffaloes narrow the gap to 12 points with four consecutive wins.
But Glenwood City won two of the final three contested matches to secure the win in a dual that featured falls or forfeits in 12 of the 13 contested matches. Both teams had a forfeit at 106 pounds.
“We wrestled well on Thursday night,” said Strong of the win in Mondovi. “We had a couple of guys out of our line-up and the kids stepped up to earn bonus points.”
The Toppers followed the dual win with a impressive performance in the prestigious St. Croix Falls tournament finishing seventh out of 20 teams despite having just eight varsity wrestlers, six of which placed including a trio of runners-up.
Glenwood City will participate in an Osceola Quad against the host, Hudson and Unity this Friday, January 26. The team will then finish the final week of the regular season with three duals, including two conference match-ups in three days. Glenwood City hosts rival Boyceville next Tuesday, January 30 before hitting the road for make-ups in Cameron on February 1 and at Spring Valley February 2.
Toppers Tame Buffs
In a contest that began at 120 pounds, Glenwood City garnered six consecutive pins to start the dual.
Freshman Will Eggert got the dual rolling with a second-period pin at 120 pounds.
Seniors Jacob Nadeau (126), Brad Kessler (132), Carson Strong (138) and Austin Curvello (145) each added six to the Toppers team total. Nadeau, Strong and Curvello earned falls in their respective matches while Kessler banked a forfeit.
Tucker Lagerstrom pushed the Glenwood City lead to 36 to zip as the sophomore scored the Hilltoppers fifth pin in six matches with a first-period fall at 152 pounds.
Mondovi’s Tanner Marsh would break the visitors run with a middle-period pin over the Toppers’ Nick Melendrez at 160 pounds.
That was the start of a 4-match win streak for the Buffaloes who registered another pin at 170 and back-to-back forfeits (182 and 195) to close to within 12 points of Glenwood City at 36-24.
It took Glenwood City senior Jacob Kopacz just 34 seconds to ring up another six-point win for the Toppers when he stuck the Buff’s Bobby Moyer for the victory at 220 pounds.
Raith Bauer got Mondovi their fifth and final win at 285 pounds when he pinned GC junior Bryce Fayerweather in 1:32 making it 42-30.
Following a double forfeit at 106 pounds, another GC freshman, Andy Grant, capped the dual with a 6-1 decision over Derek DeWitt at 113 pounds to account for the 45-30 final.
“Our two freshman both picked up important wins for us in the lower weights,” Strong noted.
“Will Eggert is very new to the sport, but he is learning quickly and working hard. Andy Grant continues to improve and he moved up a weight to earn an important win for us against a quality kid.”
Strong also had high praise for his senior leaders.
“Our seniors all won their matches with bonus points, which is what you expect if you want to win in our conference,” concluded the Toppers’ coach.
Glenwood City 45, Mondovi 30
120-Will Eggert (GC) pinned Ashton Crawford (M), 2:44; 126-Jacob Nadeau (GC) pinned Lance Crawford (M), 2:53; 132-Brad Kessler (GC) received a forfeit; 138-Carson Strong (GC) pinned Ricardo Aguilar (M), 1:10; 145-Austin Curvello (GC) pinned Tommy Bahr (M), 3:46; 152-Tucker Lagerstrom (GC) pinned Nolan Seiple (M), 1:10; 160-Tanner Marsh (M) pinned Nick Melendrez (GC), 3:34; 170-Nick Pelke (M) pinned Harrison Chouinard (GC), 1:26; 182-Bryce Johnson (M) received a forfeit; 195-Nathan Pelke (M) received a forfeit; 220-Jake Kopacz (GC) pinned Bobby Moyer (M), 0:34; 285-Raith Bauer (M) pinned Bryce Fayerweather (GC), 1:32; 106-Double Forfeit; 113-Andy Grant (GC) dec. Derek DeWitt (M), 6-1.
St. Croix Falls Tourney
State-ranked seniors Jacob Nadeau, Carson Strong and Jake Kopacz all finished as runners-up in last Saturday’s St. Croix Falls Invitational to help boost Glenwood City to a seventh-place finish.
Three others out of the Toppers’ eight-man squad that competed at St. Croix Falls also placed which helped the Toppers tally 103.5 points in the 20-team tournament that featured a quarter of state-ranked teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Glenwood City finished just behind rival Boyceville. The sixth-ranked Bulldogs took sixth with 118 points. River Falls (121) was fifth followed by Totino Grace (126), rated 11th in Minnesota’s Class AA field, Cumberland (131.5), host and runner-up
St. Croix Falls (164.5) and champion and seventh-ranked division one Hudson (175).
Second-ranked Jacob Nadeau (126 pounds), sixth-rated Carson Strong (132) and Jake Kopacz, ranked ninth (182) all compiled 3-1 records on the day to take home silver medals.
Nadeau opened with a bye, scored a first-period pin over Logan Yira of St. Croix Falls in the quarters and a 16-1 technical fall against Boyceville’s Nathan Stuart in the semifinals. The GC senior lost a tight 4-2 decision to Tontino Grace’s Triston Zuniga in overtime.
After a first-round bye, Carson Strong scored a quarterfinal fall against Hunter Sellant of Luck/Frederic/Grantsburg/Siren and topped Totino Grace’s Josh Clark by an 8-4 decision in the semis. Reid Olson of Cumberland beat Strong 12-5 in the 132-pound final.
Jake Kopacz scored pins in his first two matches at 182 pounds before coming up with a 6-4 overtime win against state-ranked Daniel Chuchwar of Chetek-Weyerhaueser/Prairie Farm to earn a berth in the title match against Boyceville freshman Trett Joles. The Bulldogs wrestler took home the title with a 12-4 win.
Freshman Andy Grant and senior Brad Kessler placed fourth at 106 and 138 pounds respectively.
Bryce Fayerweather (285) and Tucker Lagerstrom (152) did not place for the Toppers.
In the JV tournament, Will Eggert took fifth at 113 pounds and Nick Melendrez finished sixth at 152 pounds.