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Cadott and Boyceville have a storied history on the wrestling mat.
The perennial powers have often battled in regional and team sectional competitions over the past couple of decades with championships and state advancement at stake.
The duo renewed their long-running rivalry to open the new year with the Hornets traveling to Boyceville to meet the Bulldogs in a non-conference dual between state-ranked foes last Tuesday, January 7.
A near-packed house watched the teams joust under the spotlight in Boyceville’s Gymatorium. When the lights came back on, the fifth-ranked Hornets had flown off with a definitive 57-22 victory over the ninth-ranked Bulldogs.
Boyceville rebounded from the loss, however, picking up a 59-18 win in its Dunn-St. Croix dual season opener over the Buffaloes in Mondovi on Thursday evening, January 9.
With little respite, Boyceville was back on the road for its third competition in five days as it trekked to Merrill for the annual Bluejay Challenge. Individual accolades translated well into team success as all 13 competing Bulldogs placed highlighted by a trio of champions that gave the locals a fourth-place finish in the 21-team invitational.
The schedule’s pace will slow just a bit for the Bulldogs as they prepare to host a pair of duals in the coming week. Dunn-St. Croix rival Spring Valley/Elmwood will be in the Dog House this Thursday, January 16 for a match that will likely go along way in determining this year’s conference championship. Bloomer/Colfax will then come to town next Tuesday, January 21.
While both squads are fairly young this season, its was Cadott’s crop of talented freshmen and sophomores that proved to be the difference in the Hornets 25-point win over the home Bulldogs.
Of the eight underclassmen that populated Cadott’s varsity lineup last Tuesday, five of them scored wins including four by pin falls which proved the difference in the Hornets’ 57-22 triumph.
“The final score was a bit lopsided and disappointing,” said veteran Boyceville head coach Jamie Olson. “I knew coming into the season they would be one of the top teams in the state.”
Olson was hoping his charges could keep the contest close.
“We thought going in we could win six matches and make it a respectable match,” added Olson.
But the Bulldogs won just four matches in the dual.
“They are clearly a better team than us right now,” Olson stated. “But this dual will make us better down the line.”
After Cadott started out the dual with a pin by Steven Pfeiffer over Boyceville sophomore Nick Hillman at 182, defending state champion and unbeaten junior Trett Joles knotted things at six with a pin of his own in the 195-pound bout.
The Hornets took the next four matches (220, 285, 106, and 113 pounds) with a forfeit and three pins to jump out to a 30-6 lead.
Boyceville closed the deficit to 14 points with a forfeit to Brice Evenson at 120 pounds and state-ranked Josiah Berg’s 12-2 dismantling of Cadott neophyte Kaleb Sonnentag at 126.
Unfortunately, Cadott closed out the dual with wins in five of the final six matches including three via pins and another on a forfeit.
Sophomore Ethan Duck and freshman Tristan Drier started it off with respective pins at 132 and 138 against the Bulldog’s Peyton Ponath and Ira Bialzik. Another Hornet freshman, Dawson Webster, edged Nate Stuart 5-4 at 145 while Nelson Wahl pinned the Boyceville freshman Bash Nielson at 160 and Cadott senior and defending state champ Brady Spaeth drew a forfeit in the final match of the night.
Only sophomore Tyler Dormanen was able to improve Boyceville’s points in the span as he pinned Cole Pfeiffer at 152 pounds.
“We had chances to win at 138 and 145,” stated Olson. “We wrestled hard in those matches we just made a couple small mistakes that cost us. We win those its 8 to 6 Cadott in total matches and that would have been a real respectable outcome for us.”
Cadott 57, Boyceville 22
182-Steven Pfeiffer (C) pinned Nick Hillman (BV), 3:53; 195-Trett Joles (BV) pinned Gavin Tegels (C), 1:40; 220-Ethan Tegels (C) received a forfeit; 285-Josh Briggs (C) pinned Josh Marzofka (BV), 0:22; 106-Brayden Sonnentag (C) pinned Dante Butler (BV), 0:33; 113-Logan Harel (C) pinned Emma Gruenhagen (BV), 1:28; 120-Brice Evenson (BV) received a forfeit; 126-Josiah Berg (BV) majored Kaleb Sonnentag (C), 12-2; 132-Ethan Duck (C) pinned Peyton Ponath (BV),1:27; 138-Tristan Drier (C) pinned Ira Bialzik (BV), 5:09; 145-Dawson Webster (C) dec. Nate Stuart (BV), 5-4; 152-Tyler Dormanen (BV) pinned Cole Pfeiffer (C), 2:48; 160-Nelson Wahl (C) pinned Bash Nielson (BV), 2:24; 170-Brady Spaeth (C) received a forfeit.
Wrestling is a numbers game.
And in last Thursday Dunn-St. Croix dual opener in Mondovi between the Bulldogs and Buffaloes, Boyceville had the count and Mondovi did not.
Boyceville collected five forfeits and 30 points from its host and added three more pins as it chalked up wins in 11 of the duals 14 matches to take a lopsided 59-18 win.
“Mondovi is short on numbers, but they have some strong kids and they always wrestle tough at home,” said Olson.
Nick Hillman started the Bulldogs off with a pin in the opening match at 182 pounds. Trett Joles (220) and Peyton Ponath (132) score the other two falls.
Josiah Berg continued his winning ways with a 23-6 technical fall at 126 while Ira Bialzik and Tyler Dormanen won respective decisions at 138 and 152.
Mondovi’s three wins – all pins – came at 160, 170 and 285.
Boyceville 59, Mondovi 18
182-Nick Hillman (BV) pinned Mitchell Fedie (M), 1:33; 195-Josh Marzofka (BV) received a forfeit; 220-Trett Joles (BV) pinned Raith Bauer, 3:59; 285-Nathan Pelke (M) pinned Keegan Plemon (BV), 2:23; 106-Dante Butler (BV) received a forfeit; 113-Emma Gruenhagen (BV) received a forfeit; 120-Brice Evenson (BV) received a forfeit; 126-Josiah Berg (BV) tech falled Ashton Crawford (M), 23-6; 132-Peyton Ponath (BV) pinned Ashton Fedie (M), 3:52; 138-Ira Bialzik (BV) dec. Cody Wagner (M), 12-6; 145-Nate Stuart (BV) received a forfeit; 152-Tyler Dormanen (BV) dec. Lance Crawford (M), 8-5; 160-Alan George (M) pinned Preston Coombs (BV), 2:58; 170-Tommy Bahr (M) pinned bash Nielson (BV), 2:28.
When all your wrestlers place in a tournament, good things happen.
And it did for Boyceville when they attended the annual Bluejay Challenge in Merrill this past Saturday, January 11.
All 13 varsity competitors for the Bulldogs placed including a trio of champions and two thirds to lead the team to a fourth-place finish in the tournament.
“Placing in the top five was our goal and taking fourth was an outstanding day for us,” stated Coach Olson.
Sophomores Josiah Berg (120) and Tyler Dormanen (152) and junior Trett Joles (182) dominated their competition en route to winning all five of their tournament matches to claim gold medals.
Joles, who improved to 26-0 on the season, was voted the Challenge’s outstanding wrestler.
Nathan Stuart and Ira Bialzik both captured third at 138 and 145 pounds respectively. Bialzik also finished the meet with the most pins in the least amount of time.
Josh Marzofka (195) and Keegan Plemon (220) placed seventh while Nick Hillman (170) was eighth, Brice Evenson (113) was ninth, Bash Nielson (160) took tenth, Aitor Lopez-Fernandes (126) came in 11th and Emma Gruenhagen (113) placed 14th.
Preston Coombs and Dante Butler both capped their days with 4-0 marks and a championship in the JV tourney.
Boyceville scored 345 points in the 21-team tournament with Prairie du Chien taking home top honors with 433 points followed by Merrill (374) and Wittenberg-Birnamwood 366.6).