The Viroqua wrestling team battled back from a 21-12 deficit after the first six matches to pull out a 46-30 road victory over West Salem/Bangor in a Coulee Conference match Thursday, Dec. 21.
The match, which saw only three bouts end by something other than a fall or a forfeit, began at 106 where freshman Cale Anderson ran his record to 13-0, recording a pin over Carlyle Lyga 1:01 into the second period.
Sophomore Josh Frye kept his season winning streak alive, also at 13, Zach Servais in the 113-pound weight class, lifting Viroqua to a 12-0 lead.
W/B crawled back into the match with consecutive forfeit wins at 120 and 126, to pull back to even at 12-12. Dalton Schams gave W/B a 15-12 lead with a hard-fought 4-0 win over senior Casey Leer at 132 and Aaron Bahr extended the margin to 21-12 with an early pin over VHS freshman Case Mayberry at 138.
Viroqua freshman Aaron Dobbs pulled the Hawks back to within a 21-16 score with a dominating 14-1 major decision over Adam Rogge at 145. Senior Ryan Hannah ran his season-long winning streak to eight matches with a 3:30 pin over W/B’s Joe Hess at 152, lifting the Blackhawks back into the lead at 22-21.
W/B crawled back on top by a score of 24-22 when VHS junior Colton Fox lost the closest bout of the night, a 1-0 heartbreaker to Joe Wopa at 152. Tyler Hannah finally put the Blackhawks in front to stay at 28-24, with a quick 1:02 pin over Nathaniel Wiggins in their 170-pound match. Tyler Hannah kept his perfect sophomore season intact with the win at 12-0.
Sophomore 185-pounder Paul Nickelotti gave the Blackhawks a little cushion with a 1:53 pin over Colton Eilers, lifting the visitors to a 34-24 advantage. VHS sophomore Dalton Hardy lost his bout at 195 by a fall to W/B’s Blake Scholl, but Braxton Cary was awarded a forfeit win at 225.
Senior heavy-weight Ben Sherry capped off the night for the Blackhawks with a pin win in 3:40 over Tanner Copper. The team win improves the Hawks’ season record to 2-2 in all duals and 1-1 in the Coulee.
The Blackhawks traveled to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Saturday, Dec. 23, and placed ninth in a 23-team field at the Badger State Wrestling Tournament. The grapplers captured two individual championships, Cale Anderson (106) and Ryan Hannah (145), and a third-place finisher Tyler Hannah (170).
Anderson kept his varsity career record unblemished, improving to 18-0, with an opening round bye, followed by three consecutive pins (3:17, 1:49 and :28) before battling his way to a 6-4 win in the championship bout, over Santiago Castillo. The individual battle featured a pair of undefeated wrestlers, both entering the bout at 17-0.
Ryan Hannah ran his season record to 13-0 and recorded his 150th career victory, earning five wins on the day. Much like Anderson, Hannah cruised through the first four rounds, with a bye, two pin wins (:59 and 1:42) and a 15-4 tech-fall, before pulling out a hard-fought 6-5 decision over Nolan Kokmol of Evansville in the championship bout. Also like Anderson, Hannah’s championship opponent was undefeated going into the match, losing for the first time in 18 matches this year.
Tyler Hannah also picked up a first-round bye, then earned a 9-1 major decision, in round two picked up a :42 pin in the quarterfinals, before dropping his semifinal round match to Max Maylor (17-1) of Iowa-Grant and rebounding for a 13-3 major decision win in the third-place match over Zachary Marek of Waunakee.
Leer (132) earned a sixth-place medal with first round bye, a 3:21 pin win in round two, a 17-6 decision loss in the third, before bouncing back for a 7-6 win in the consolation round and a loss by decision in the 5th place match to Steve Krauss of Badger.
Frye earned a seventh-place finish, with a bye, an 8-1 decision win, a 7-5 overtime loss in the quarterfinals, a 6-4 loss in the consolation round, before picking up an injury default win in the seventh-place match.
Aaron Dobbs scored seven team points, but did not place, with a bye in round one, followed by a second-round loss, then three straight wins, one by major decision 11-0 and two by pin (3:18 and 1:41).
Ben Froiseth (152) picked up a first round bye, before dropping a pair of matches, bouncing back for a 4-1 win in round four and then losing his final bout of the day.
Fox (160) went 2-2 for the day with a first- round bye, followed by a round-two loss, a 3:51 pin win in round three and a loss in his final match.
Nickelotti moved his season record to 11-6 with an opening round bye, an 11-2 loss, an 8-4 win, a 12-4 win and a loss in his final consolation round bout. Hardy (195) picked up an opening round bye, a loss, a 2-0 win in round three and a consolation round loss. Cary (220) earned a pair of byes at the event.
Stoughton won the team title with 243 points, Kenosha Bradford was next with 209.5, followed by River Valley 161.5, Elkhorn 160, Waunakee 149.5, Neenah 147, Fennimore 144, Badger 133, Viroqua 120.5, Evansville 108, Iowa-Grant/Highland 108, Mineral Point 100, West Salem/Bangor 84.5, Hartland Union 68.5, Kettle Moraine 64, Darlington 54.5, Waukesha So. 54.5, Brookfield East 34, Madison La Follette 33.5, St. Johns NW Military Ac. 30, Mayville 25, Delavan Darien 23, and Kenosha St Joseph’s Ac. 11.0.
The Blackhawks compete and the Bi-State Classic in La Crosse Dec. 29-30.