The Viroqua wrestling team participated in the Lodi Invitational Saturday, Jan. 6. All six of the teams were ranked in the various WIAA state wrestling divisions. Although the Blackhawks, currently in the honorable mention category among Division 2 programs, picked up just one team win against four losses, four of the five team matches came down to the final individual bout before a team winner was determined.
Viroqua 34, Elkhorn 33
The lone victory came in a 34-33 thriller over Elkhorn Area, when the Blackhawks built a 34-18 lead and then withstood a 15-point Elkhorn run to escape with the win.
Cale Anderson earned a 7-1 decision win at 106, with a takedown followed by a three-point near-fall in the opening period and also tacked on a third period take-down. Josh Frye put the Hawks on top 7-0 scoring an 11-3 major decision at 113, on the strength of four takedowns and a near-fall.
After a forfeit at 120, Lucas Oldham stretched the Viroqua lead back to 13-6 with a quick pin in 1:07 of the first period.
Elkhorn pulled to within 13-12 with a fall at 132, before Aaron Dobbs answered for the Blackhawks with a 5:11 pin at 138, after building a 5-0 advantage through two periods.
Ryan Hannah picked up a forfeit win at 145 pushing the lead to 25-12. After a loss by a pin in the 152-pound match, Viroqua bounced back on a thrilling 11-9 overtime win at 160 by Remington Running, lifting the Hawks to a 28-18 advantage. Running used a four takedown effort, in route to the win, including the overtime winner.
After a forfeit by each team at 170, Tyler Hannah moved up to 180 and earned a 4:39 pin win, after building a commanding 12-0 lead at the end of two periods. The win gave the Hawks an insurmountable team lead at 34-18.
Paul Nickelotti battled to a hard-fought 13-11 loss at 185 before Elkhorn won the final two bouts by pins.
Evansville Albany 37, Viroqua 31
Winners for the Blackhawks included Anderson (106) a 1:32 fall, Frye (113) a 3-0 decision, Dobbs (138) a 4-0 decision, Ryan Hannah (145) forfeit, Tyler Hannah (170) a 1:24 fall and Braxton Cary (220) forfeit.
Evansville Albany is rated as honorable mention in Division 2.
Janesville Craig 39, Viroqua 36
The Blackhawks held a 36-33 lead entering the final bout before dropping the heart-breaking 39-36 decision to Janesville Craig, an honorable mention Division 1 team.
Anderson rolled to a quick 6-2 lead, before picking up a pin win in 1:16. Frye earned a 10-4 win on the strength of three takedowns, a pair of reversals and a near-fall. Dobbs battled his way to a hard-fought 5-4 nail-biting win, featuring a second period takedown and a trio of escapes, two of which came in the final period.
Ryan Hannah picked up his second forfeit of the day, while younger brother Tyler Hannah rolled to an 8-2 lead before putting away his opponent with a 2:44 pin. Nickelotti (185) closed out the Viroqua scoring, turning a 4-2 second period lead into a pin win in 2:42.
Lodi 42, Viroqua 30
The Blackhawks found themselves within striking distance of host school and perennial power Lodi entering the final bout with the Blue Devils, who are currently ranked seventh in the state among Division 2 schools. Trailing 36-30 and a chance to tie with a pin, the Hawks instead lost the bout via the pin.
Individual winners for the Hawks included Anderson a 1:25 pin, Frye a forfeit, Casey Leer (132) an 11-3 major decision, Ryan Hannah a 16-0 technical-fall in 5:42, Ben Froiseth (152) a 4:35 pin and Tyler Hannah a 6-1 decision. Tyler Hannah’s win gave the Blackhawks a 30-21 lead, but the host school won the final four bouts to win the match.
Waunakee 49, Viroqua 27
The Blackhawks earned just five wins in the 14 weight categories in the loss to Waunakee, the ninth-ranked team in Division 1. The VHS winners included Leer (132) with a sudden :50 pin, Dobbs turning an 11-5 lead into a 5:35 pin win, Ryan Hannah (145) an 11-2 major decision and Tyler Hannah an 18-2 technical fall in 3:30.