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By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE — Boyceville wrestling has become synonymous with success over the past three decades.
And last season was no exception as the Bulldogs added a second straight Dunn-St. Croix championship and the 2019 D3 regional title and sent six wrestlers to the state meet culminating in state titles for Brock Schlough and Trett Joles.
After a successful 2018-19 season for the Boyceville grapplers, veteran head coach Jamie Olson and the 22 athletes will need to work on all areas of the mat to fill the 14-man varsity roster for each dual and tournament.
“Our team is very young, we have a lot of work to do in all areas,” Olson said. “We have potential to compete at a high level at the end of the season if we all fall into place.”
But Olson’s 20 years of experience and overall record of 254-93, along with 19 conference titles, 14 regional titles, and eight sectional titles should help the newcomers to the Boyceville high school wrestling program.
Although Boyceville was fortunate to lose only three seniors to graduation the past spring – Brock Schlough, Nick Goodell, and Eli Swanson – that trio leaves some mighty big shoes to fill.
A once-in-lifetime wrestler, Brock Schlough, who became just the 17th wrestler in WIAA history to capture four straight state individual wrestling championships, set the standard and several records for the Bulldogs and finished with a 183-5 overall record including unbeaten seasons in his junior and senior years. Schlough signed with St. Cloud State last fall under a wrestling scholarship.
Nick Goodell was a state qualifier at 138 pounds last February and wrapped up his final season with a 32-17 mark and registered 104 victories in his high school career. Eli Swanson was a 19-match winner a year ago.
“They were three very solid wrestlers that will be very hard to replace,” said Olson.
However, the Bulldogs will welcome back twelve letter winners from the 2018-19 season including junior Trett Joles who won the 2019 WIAA Division 3 State Championship in the 182 pound weight class and is currently ranked second for juniors in the nation, and Josiah Berg who was fifth at state last year in the 106-pound weight class.
“We have great leaders in Berg and Joles, these guys are training machines,” coach Olson explained. “They are also very vocal leaders that care for the entire team’s success. That’s huge for these younger guys to have these guys lead practices, show technique, and run drills. They bring intensity, passion, and toughness that will carry into everybody’s training every day.”
Also returning are state qualifiers Ira Bialzik, 126, and Nate Stuart, 120, along with sectional qualifiers Tyler Dormanen, 132, with 24 wins, Nick Hillman, 160, with 12 wins, Brice Evenson, 106, and Keegan Plemon, 220/285, with eight wins, Josh Marzofka, 220, with seven wins and Peyton Ponath, 120, with six wins.
Boyceville will also welcome five new wrestlers in Dante Butler, Tyler Bowell, Jared Hatch, Filup Nelson, and Eitor Lopez-Fernandez.
Olson believes that the conference will be more balanced for the 2019-20 season which will make for interesting duals and match ups.
“I think we can compete with anyone as long as we fill all 14 weights,” Olson stated.
The Bulldogs will open their season on the road this Friday, December 6, for an invitational at Cumberland High School starting at 5:30 p.m.
Seniors: Tyler Bowell, Eitor Lopez-Fernandez, and Josh Marzofka.
Juniors: Tanner Anderson, Dante Butler, Jared Hatch, Trett Joles, Taylor Schmid, and Nate Stuart.
Sophomores: Josiah Berg, Ira Bialzik, Preston Coombs, Tyler Dormanen, Brice Evenson, Nick Hillman, Greg Moore, Filup Nelson, Kegan Plemon, and Peyton Ponath.
Freshmen: Shawn Arneson, Emma Gruenhagen, and Bash Nielson.