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SPRING VALLEY — The Boyceville wrestling team not only had to overcome their opponent in the Bulldogs’ conference dual season opener in Spring Valley last Thursday but, illness.
Despite the lingering effects of a team-wide sickness, the Bulldogs’ collective came out swinging against their recent wrestling nemesis, the Cardinals of Spring Valley, and delivered a 46-30 knock out punch in the key January 10 dual match.
Although it was just the first conference win for Boyceville, the outcome likely gives the Bulldogs the lead in their quest for a second straight Dunn-St. Croix wrestling championship and the 19th conference title in the program’s illustrious history.
“Our kids rose to the occasion last night,” stated an elated Jamie Olson, Boyceville’s veteran head coach. “We had a sick crew all week and they came out swinging despite not being 100 percent.”
Boyceville lost just three contested matches, all of which were to SV/E’s state-ranked wrestlers.
“We’ve had some really good duals with these guys,” said Olson in reference to Spring Valley/Elmwood, “and this was just another one that was going to go down to the end.”
The two programs have either won outright or shared the conference crown the past eight seasons. The two shared the title in 2012-13 with Spring Valley/Elmwood taking the next four straight championships until Boyceville reclaimed the title last season.
The Bulldogs were not about to let a little sickness or Spring Valley/Elmwood derail their plans for a second consecutive conference championship.
State runner-up and sophomore Trett Joles kick started the Bulldogs’ evening with a first-period pin of Cardinal junior Travis Marty at 182 pounds.
Spring Valley/Elmwood took the next two matches and a 12-6 lead when it received a forfeit at 195 pounds and senior Kenny Fesenmaier delivered a 44 second pin against Bulldogs’ freshman Keegan Plemon at 220 pounds.
Boyceville knotted the score at a dozen points each on a forfeit to their freshman heavyweight Greg Moore.
At 106 pounds, the Cardinals’ state-ranked Kaleb Casey pinned his Boyceville freshman counterpart Brice Evenson in 34 second to give Spring Valley/Elmwood yet another six-point push.
But the home team’s lead would be short lived as Boyceville took control of the dual with victories in the next seven consecutive matches to build a 46-18 advantage.
Josiah Berg, one of Boyceville’s freshman phenoms who is finally receiving some recent notice from the state pollsters, started the winning streak with a 6-1 decision over fellow freshman Tristan Neisinger of Spring Valley/Elmwood. That decision pulled the Bulldogs to within three at 18-15.
Senior Eli Swanson would put Boyceville over the top to stay with a 44 second fall against Cardinals’ junior Skyler Beesley in the 120-pound match that gave the Bulldogs a 21-18 lead – one they would not relinquish.
Peyton Ponath earned Boyceville another six team points with a forfeit at 126.
Sophomore Nate Stuart kept the Boyceville to its winning ways with a second-period fall over Max Schmitt, a Cardinal freshman, at 132 pounds.
Freshman Tyler Dormanen followed suit at 138 pounds as he stuck Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Braydon Wolf in the third period that boosted the Bulldogs lead to 39-18.
In his final Boyceville-Spring Valley/Elmwood dual, Nick Goodell delivered a gusty 6-1 overtime victory against Riley Merth at 145 pounds.
Three-time defending state champion, Brock Schlough, capped Boyceville’s scoring with a 11-1 major decision over Santana Schlegel in a match at 152 pounds.
“Nate Stuart, Tyler Dormanen Nick Goodell and Brock Schlough won big matches for us that sealed the victory down the stretch,” stated Olson.
“Nate continues to wrestle tough and his pin really kept the momentum going into two tough matches with Dormanen and Goodell,” continued Olson. “Dormanen’s pin over Wolf was huge and that really put us in great position to win the dual.”
“Despite being really sick, Nick Goodell gutted out a tough overtime match that really sealed the dual,” Olson acknowledged.
Nick Hillman, another promising Boyceville freshman, was pinned at 160 pounds by the Cards’ Nate Fesenmaier.
Boyceville gave a forfeit to Nolan Stanz in the final match at 170 pounds which accounted for the 46-30 final score.
“Freshman Josiah Berg continued his winning way’s with a big win also. Eli Swanson had a big pin at 120 too,” said Olson.
“I also want to mention Greg Moore, Peyton Ponath and Ira Bialzik. Peyton and Greg received two big forfeits and Ira was ready to go at 132 or 138 if we needed to bump up. Eight freshman played a role in winning this dual. I’m very proud of those guys,” Olson concluded.
Boyceville hosts Mondovi in a conference dual this Thursday and will compete in an invitational at St. Croix Falls on Saturday.
182-Trett Joles (BV) pinned Travis Marty (SV/E), 1:15; 195-Paul Schweback (SV/E) received forfeit; 220-Kenny Fesenmaier pinned Keegan Plemon (BV), :51; 285-Greg Moore (BV) received forfeit; 106-Kaleb Casey (SV/E) pinned Brice Evenson (BV), :34; 113-Josiah Berg (BV) dec. Tristan Neisinger (SV/E), 6-1; 120-Eli Swanson (BV) pinned Skyler Beesley (SV/E), :44; 126-Peyton Ponath (BV) received forfeit; 132-Nate Stuart (BV) pinned Max Schmitt (SV/E), 3:53; 138-Tyler Dormanen (BV) pinned Braydon Wolf (SV/E), 5:13; 145-Nick Goodell (BV) dec. Riley Merth (SV/E), 6-1; 152-Brock Schlough (BV) majored Santana Schlegel (SV/E), 11-1; 160-Nate Fesenmaier (SV/E) pinned Nick Hillman (BV), 1:15; 170-Nolan Stanz (SV/E) received forfeit.