It’s not unusual for high school wrestling teams to get nicked up this time of year, and the Tomah Timberwolves are no exception.
However, the Timberwolves have exceptional depth, and coach Jeff Von Haden put it on display Thursday night.
The Timberwolves had no problem covering a couple of holes in the lineup to gain a 67-6 victory over Onalaska/Onalaska Luther in a Mississippi Valley Conference matchup at Tomah High School. Haden pulled a couple of wrestlers from the junior varsity to ensure all 14 weight classes were filled.
“It was a good opportunity for us to get some other kids some experience,” Von Haden said.
Brody Foss (138 pounds) and Dustin Burkwalt (220) filled varsity openings, and Foss won his match over Jack Rogers 4-2. Foss got a takedown early in the third period to take a 4-0 lead and held on late as Rogers got points on a stall and escape.
The Timberwolves got one of their starters back when Jairon Pierce returned from a brief injury to fill the 170 slot. He prevailed with a third-period pin over Ethan Newman.
The most dramatic match came at 285, where Tomah’s Hayden Larson battled back from a 5-1 deficit to pin Damion Tracy. Larson rolled from underneath a 3-point near fall early in the second period and still trailed 6-4 with 1:30 left in the third period. But with a minute left in the match, Larson took Tracy straight to his back to end the match with a pin.
Tomah’s other three pins came from Braden Bemis (132), Owen Walters (145) and Sam Linzmeier (145), while Caleb Pollack (113) won his match by a major decision.
The Hilltoppers forfeited six of the 14 matches.
Von Haden said his team maintained focus against an opponent that has struggled to gain traction in the MVC.
“They wrestled fine,” Von Haden said. “They were aggressive and did what they needed to do. Sometimes you if don’t wrestle hard, that’s when you get hurt.”
It was Senior Night, and the program honored Burkwalt, Dawson Lambert, Kaden Hericks and Angel Burkhalter, along with senior managers Rachel Moseley and Jordyn Steinhoff. Lambert and Hericks won by forfeit, while Burkhalter was sidelined with a season-ending injury from football.
Von Haden is proud of his senior class.
“They’re great competitors,” Von Haden said. “They give me everything they’ve got, and they’re going to be missed.”
The Timberwolves will get 10 days off from competition before finishing the regular season with duals at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Jan. 29 and La Crosse Central Jan. 31.
TOMAH 67 ONALASKA/ONALASKA LUTHER 6
195, 106, 120, 125, 160, 182—Tomah received forfeits. 220—J. Blum (O) pinned Burkwalt 3:11. 285—Larson (T) pinned Tracy 4:58. 113—Pollack (T) def. Stuebs 14-4. 132—Bemis (T) pinned Elliott :49. 138—Foss (T) def. Rogers 4-2. 145—Walters (T) pinned Baudek 2:25. 152—Linzmeier (T) pinned Steinhoff 1:32. 170—Pierce (T) pinned Newman 4:43.