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By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE — Every year Boyceville’s wrestlers and team are competing for conference and state accolades.
And this year should be no different despite losing five seniors from a year ago including three state place winners.
Head Jamie Olson simply reloads his squad which features a pair of returning state medalists.
The Dean of Dunn-St. Croix coaches, who starts his 19th season guiding the Bulldogs with an impressive record of 239-99, along with the coaching staff are seeing potential in the incoming athletes for the upcoming season.
Boyceville has 20 wrestlers for the 2018-19 season headlined by three-time state champion Brock Schlough and third-place state finisher Trett Joles.
That duo helped lead the Bulldogs to a 19-5 overall finish in the 2017-18 campaign and the programs 18th Dunn-St. Croix conference title and first since 2013. Boyceville also finished as the WIAA regional runner-up, the individual team sectional champion and third overall in the WIAA individual state tournament for team points in Division 3 and seventh in all divisions.
But the Bulldogs also lost five key cogs on last year’s championship team to graduation this past spring — Tanner Anderson, Jason Swanepoel, Justin Malean, Garrett Joles and Noah Novotney.
Topping the list of graduates is Garrett Joles who finished his high school career with a perfect 42-0 senior season and his second consecutive WIAA state Division 3 championship at 195 pounds. Joles, who finished third on the Bulldogs all-time career wins list with a 161-10 record, also finished as a state runner-up in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Gone too are state qualifiers Justin Malean and Noah Novotney who both had outstanding senior seasons in 2017-18 reaching the state tournament. Novotney went 39-7 last year at heavyweight and finished with a record of 115-56. Malean posted a 111-60 mark after going 36-10 at 170 pounds a season ago.
All three – Garrett Joles, Novotney and Malean – were first-team, All Dunn-St. Croix wrestlers.
Conspicuously absent from this year’s roster is Walker Retz. As a freshman last year, Retz placed fourth in the Division 3, 113-pound weight class but opted not to wrestle this season.
But the Bulldogs still have a pound filled with state experience.
Brock Schlough, who is shooting for an unprecedented fourth consecutive state championship, returns to lead the Boyceville squad. Schlough carries a career record of 133-5 entering his senior season and will likely become the Bulldogs all-time career wins leader by season’s end. Among Boyceville’s leaders in just about ever statistical category, Schlough recently signed a national letter of intent to wrestling for NCAA Division 2 powerhouse and defending national champ St. Cloud State in the fall of 2019.
Sophomore Trett Joles returns to the mat for the 2018-19 season. Joles, the younger sibling of Garrett, had 46 wins, 23 pins and 236 team points in the 182-pound weight class and finished third in state for the Bulldogs.
Also returning for the 2018-19 season are seniors Nick Goodell (21 wins) and Eli Swanson (19 wins), and sophomores Nate Stuart (19 wins) and Taylor Schmid (12 wins).
“We have a great group of freshmen wrestlers that will need to fill in immediately,” head coach Olson said.
Joining the Bulldogs for their first year at the high school level are Josiah Berg, Ira Bialzik, Nick Hillman, Tyler Dormanen, Brice Evenson, Preston Coombs, Brian Johnson, Greg Moore, Keegan Plemon, Peyton Ponath and Makayla Ross.
Sophomores Dominic Schreiber and TJ Anderson will play key roles according to Olson along with senior Megan Krosnoski.
The Bulldogs will be a young team, however, as a majority of their members are freshmen and sophomores, Olson said.
The Boyceville head coach will look to Brock, Eli and Nick to lead the young but very hungry bunch of incoming athletes.
The goal for the upcoming season, according to Olson, is to have fun competing together along with improving one percent every day.
“We have team and individual goals, and will work hard at achieving them,” explained Olson.
It is Olson’s belief that Spring Valley/Elmwood will be the team to beat this season in the Dunn-St. Croix. Olson said the Cardinals return solid kids in the middle weights and have promising sophomores in the mix, they will also bring in some good freshmen to fill their lower weight classes.
Olson will again be joined by his 10-year assistant coach Corey Day, former Bulldog wrestler and first-year assistant Allen Lain and volunteer coaches Nathaniel Behnke, Doug Palmer, Aiden Schiltz and former Boyceville state runner-up and new district educator Bryor Hellmann.
The Bulldogs’ start the new season this Friday, November 30th at the Island City Duals in Cumberland. Boyceville will then head to the Dells Duals to be held on Saturday, December 8 at the Wisconsin Dells Center.
Seniors: Brock Schlough, Eli Swanson, Nick Goodell and Megan Krosnoski.
Sophomores: Nate Stuart. TJ Anderson, Dominic Schreiber, Trett Joles and Taylor Schmid.
Freshmen: Josiah Berg, Ira Bialzik, Nick Hillman, Tyler Dormanen, Brice Evenson, Preston Coombs, Brian Johnson, Greg Moore, Keegan Plemon, Peyton Ponath and Makayla Ross.