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Glenwood City’s wrestlers improved to 2-0 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference standings with a 54-17 road thrashing of the Spring Valley Cardinals last Thursday, January 13.
In that dual held at Spring Valley High School, the Hilltoppers won ten of the 14 weight classes – five by pin falls and four via forfeits.
Looking to upgrade the level of competition for its wrestlers, Glenwood City participated in the Caledonia, MN Duals this past Saturday where it faced state-ranked teams and individuals. Although the Hilltoppers lost all three duals (52-15 to Goodhue, 61-15 to Chatfield, and 43-19 to host Caledonia-Houston), they gained valuable experience.
Glenwood City looks to build on those experiences as they head into the final few weeks of the regular season.
The Toppers (7-7) host a conference dual this Thursday, January 20 before heading to St. Croix Falls on Saturday for an invitational. They will wrestle at Menomonie next Tuesday, January 25 in preparation for its annual showdown with rival Boyceville on January 27.
Glenwood City and Spring Valley/Elmwood split their first four matches against one another in last Thursday evening’s D-SC dual in the Cardinals’ nest, but then, the visiting Hilltoppers dominated a Cardinals’ squad depleted by injuries going on to win 54-17.
“I believe our kids were focused this week and excited for this dual,” stated Glenwood City head coach Shane Strong. “We were disappointed when we arrived to find a couple of their kids were out due to injury. We were looking forward to match-ups at 132, 138, and 160.”
“You feel for Valley, you never want kids to have injuries and they are a class act. We know the feeling of missing kids from our line-up the entire season,” Strong added.
Senior Carter Clements gave Glenwood City an early 6-0 advantage with a pin of the Cards’ Lyndsey Stark in the opening match at 195 pounds.
Trace Anderson returned the favor and pinned Topper freshman Blake Fayerweather at 220 pounds to pull host Spring Valley/Elmwood back to even.
After a double forfeit at 285 pounds, GC sophomore Savanna Millermon and SV/E junior Haeli Casey tangled in a very good match at 106 pounds. Millermon looked to turn Casey to her back early in the match but ended up suffering the pin with just five seconds left in the first period.
That win gave the Cardinals its first and only lead of the evening at 12-6.
Toppers’ freshman Jake Wood received a forfeit at 113 pounds and the match was tied once more.
But not for long!
Glenwood City would win the next eight matches to blow open the contest.
With Ian Radintz absent due to illness, stated-ranked 106-pound freshman Wyatt Unser wrestled at 120 pounds and defeated Spring Valley/Elmwoood’s Tylor LaCroix, 6-3. After the match, LaCroix threw his head gear costing the Cardinals a team point. Glenwood City now led 15-11.
“I was pleased how Wyatt wrestled moving up to 120 for competition,” Strong noted. “He took on the challenge and delivered with a nice win.”
Points on the Toppers’ side of the scoreboard would change quickly over the next seven matches.
GC junior James Knight, ranked ninth, needed just 52 second to put his 126-pound opponent Avery Huebel to the mat.
Gabe Knops and Mitchell McGee were awarded forfeits at 132 and 138, respectively, to push the Glenwood City advantage to 33-11.
Sophomore Jonas Draxler then added six to the Glenwood City tally with a 1:19 fall over the Cardinals’ Frank Weix at 145 pounds.
“Jonas Draxler continues to improve after a slow start to the season picking up his second consecutive conference pin,” Strong commented.
A forfeit to sophomore Xavier Gill at 152 preceded senior Thomas Moede’s 23-second pin of SV/E’s Brody Bleskacek at 160 pounds.
At 170 pounds, Noah Brite capped the Toppers’ winning streak with a 3-1 victory that not only saw the junior overcome his opponent, Joel Anderson, but a persistent bloody nose.
“I thought Noah Brite gutted out a close win while dealing with a wrapped face that was affecting his breathing,” commented Strong.
Spring Valley won the final bout of the dual as Keegan Merth pinned GC freshman Jackson Logghe in the first period at 182 pounds.
“We know we have work to do if we are going to accomplish our goals. We have a tendency to go to our back far too easily and our neutral defense needs to improve as a team. We are right on track with our conditioning at this point in the year,” concluded Strong.
Glenwood City 54, Spring Valley/Elmwood 17
195-Carter Clemens (GC) pinned Lyndsey Stark (SVE), 3:11; 220-Trace Anderson (SVE) pinned Blake Fayerweather (GC), 1:52; 285-Double Forfeit; 106-Haeli Casey (SVE) pinned Savanna Millermon (GC), 1:55; 113-Jake Wood (GC) received forfeit; 120-Wyatt Unser (GC) dec. Tylor LaCroix (SVE), 6-3; 126-James Knight (GC) pinned Avery Huebel (SVE), 0:52; 132-Gabe Knops (GC) received forfeit; 138: Mitchell McGee (GC) received forfeit; 145-Jonas Draxler (GC) pinned Frank Weix (SVE), 1:19; 152-Xavier Gill (GC) received forfeit; 160-Thomas Moede (GC) pinned Brody Bleskacek (SVE), 0:23; 170-Noah Brite (GC) dec. Joel Anderson (SVE), 3-1; 182-Keegan Merth (SVE) pinned Jackson Logghe (GC), 1:48.
Caledonia, MN Duals
While coaches want positive outcomes, Glenwood City’s excursion to southeastern Minnesota last Saturday, January 15 was more about the quality of competition.
The Caledonia, MN Duals offered the Hilltoppers an opportunity to compete against a solid sampling of state-ranked Minnesota wrestlers.
All three teams that Glenwood City faced in the quadrangular meet were receiving state recognition in Minnesota’s Class A (small school) rankings. According to the latest state poll in the Guillotine, Chatfield was #10, Goodhue was #11, and host Caledonia-Houston topped the “Lean and Mean” or honorable mention list.
So it came as no surprise when Glenwood City finished 0-3 on the day, losing 61-15 to Chatfield, 52-15 to Goodhue, and 43-19 to Caledonia-Houston.
“We entered this tournament to face high-level competition,” said Strong, who is a graduate of Houston High School.
“Our kids ran into some Minnesota state place winners at multiple weights. I felt it was good for our team in preparation for the upcoming tournament series,” he added.
Wyatt Unser and Ian Radintz finished the tournament 3-0.
Wrestling at 106 and 113 pounds, Unser scored a pin and a pair of 7-3 decisions including one over fellow freshman and fifth-ranked Javier Berg of Chatfield at 106.
Radintz edged eight-ranked senior Lucas Bortz of Goodhue, 3-2, at 120 pounds and also majored Caledonia-Houston’s Simon Seymour 11-0 in another 120-pound match. The second-ranked Radintz moved up to 126 pounds in the dual against Chatfield and got a pin.
State-ranked James Knight finished the day 2-1 with both wins coming at 126 pounds. He won a one-point decision against Payton Holst of Goodhue and scored the first-period pin fall against Jordon Beeman of C-H.
Junior Gabe Knops and senior Thomas Moede finished 1-2.
“Our kids competed well, we were able to identify some areas we need to improve on,” concluded Strong.
Caledonia-Houston, MN 43, GC 19
106-Wyatt Unser (GC) dec. Braxton Lange (C-H), 7-3; 113-Jake Wood (GC) received forfeit; 120-Ian Radintz (GC) majored Simon Seymour (C-H), 11-0; 126-James Knight (GC) pinned Jordon Beeman (C-H), 1:26; 132-Owen Denstad (C-H) pinned Gabe Knops (GC), 5:17; 138-Isaac Blocker (C-H) pinned Mitchell McGee (GC), 5:27; 145-Tucker Ginther (C-H) pinned Jonas Draxler (GC), 4:23; 152-Austin Swenson (C-H) dec. Thomas Moede (GC), 4-2; 160-Jacob Francis (C-H) dec. Noah Brite (GC), 11-5; 170-Alec Weinbender (C-H) dec. Connor Gross (GC), 6-3; 182-Eric Mauss (C-H) pinned Carter Clemens (GC), 0:57; 195-Ayden Goetzinger (C-H) received forfeit; 220-Tyler Jennings (C-H) majored Blake Fayerweather (GC), 10-2; 285-Double Forfeit.
Goodhue, MN 52, GC 15
106-Double Forfeit; 113Wyatt Unser (GC) pinned Lucas Erickson (G), 0:39; 120-Ian Radintz (GC) dec. Lucas Bortz (G), 3-2; 126-James Knight (GC) dec. Payton Holst (G), 8-7; 132-Gabe Knops (GC) dec. Ethan Breuer (G), 6-0; 138-Beau Jaeger (G) majored Mitchell McGee (GC), 12-0; 145-Maddox O`Reilly (G) pinned Jonas Draxler (GC),1:23; 152-Makae O`Reilly (G) pinned Thomas Moede (G), 3:16; 160-Grant Reed (G) received forfeit; 170-Jeremiah O`Reilly (G) pinned Connor Gross (GC), 1:31; 182-Carsyn O`Reilly (G) received forfeit; 195-Marcus Gardzinski (G) received forfeit; 220-Caleb Kurtti (G) pinned Blake Fayerweather (GC), 0:57;285: Cody Lohman (G) received forfeit.
Chatfield, MN 61, GC 15
106: Wyatt Unser (GC) dec. Javier Berg (C), 7-3; 113-Ryan House (C) pinned Jake Wood (GC), 0:33; 120-Alden Pearson (C) pinned Logan McVeigh (GC), 1:27; 126-Ian Radintz (C) pinned Ben Carrier (C), 3:22; 132-Carson Rowland (C) pinned James Knight (GC), 2:52; 138-Jack Dornack (C) dec. Gabe Knops (GC), 3-0; 145-Lukas Carrier (C) pinned Mitchell McGee (GC), 3:34; 152: Thomas Moede (GC) pinned Thad Evans (C), 3:55; 160-Sulley Ferguson (C) majored Noah Brite (GC), 11-2; 170-Kail Schott (C) received forfeit; 182-Grady Schott (C) pinend Carter Clemens (GC), 0:15; 195-Campbell Berge (C) received forfeit; 220-Ethan Ruskell (C) pinned Blake Fayerweather (GC), 0:47; 285-Caden Nolte (C) received forfeit.