RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- The defending Big Rivers Conference Wildcat wrestling team took care of business in its BRC opener against Eau Claire North last week. Now it will face its stiffest test of the young season this Thursday, Dec. 12, in Hudson.

The Wildcats and Raiders finished one-two in the BRC a year ago, with River Falls handing Hudson its only conference loss of the season. Thursday’s match, which is set for 7 p.m. in Hudson, will go a long way towards determining this year’s conference champ.

The Wildcats opened with an emphatic 82-0 victory over Eau Claire North last Thursday, aided by six Husky forfeits at 106, 120, 126, 138 145 and 220 pounds. Gavin Kohel started the night by winning by injury default at 170 pounds and Aidan Pearson (113), Cooper Andrea (132), Vito Massa (152), Garrett Borth (182), Austin Mueller (195) and Gabe Glaubitz (285) all won by fall, before Tyler Haydon ended the night with a 10-1 major decision at 160 pounds.

“We did alright on Thursday,” Wildcat coach Kevin Black said. “The score looked better than how we performed. But they all wrestled much better on Saturday. Saturday was perfect for us.”

Saturday was at the Wolfpack Duals hosted by Park High School in Cottage Grove, where Black said every dual was competitive and every team fielded a full lineup so all the Wildcats got some quality mat time.

“The metro schools are so well coached and the pace is higher when we cross the river, so taking advantage of wrestling in the cities really gives us an edge later on in the season,” he said.

Black said the Wildcats had their backs against the wall in their dual against Baldwin-Woodville, but the upper weight wrestlers stepped up to secure the win.

“Garett Borth beat the third ranked kid in the state at 182 pounds,” he noted. “They both bumped up to 195 as we tried to shift away from him actually. Ryan Pease jumped in at 182 and got a huge pin for us. Then Marcus Cudd and Gabe Glaubitz finished the dual meet with a pin each. It was exciting and a big step for Garett and our entire team.”

Miles Longsdorf finished the day 4-0 for the Wildcats while Cudd, Glaubitz, Massa, Kohel, Haydon, Travis Moelter and James Hampton all went 3-1.

Following this Thursday’s BRC showdown at Hudson, the Wildcats will compete at the Barron Invitational Saturday, Dec. 14 before returning home to host Glenwood City Thursday, Dec. 19.