RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- A holiday tradition will continue in River Falls this weekend when River Falls High School hosts the 35th annual Northern Badger Classic Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28.
Thirty-nine teams from across Wisconsin will compete for titles in three divisions and 14 individual weight classes.
The Northern Badger Classic was first held at UW-Stout’s Johnson Fieldhouse in Menomonie in 1985. River Falls has hosted the tournament since 1997, first at UW-River Falls’ Knowles Center before moving to the high school in 2000. Nearly 2,000 spectators a day are expected to attend the event.
The host Wildcats are coming off a third place Division 1 and fifth place finish overall a year ago. Juniors Owen Larson and Miles Longsdorf will look to return to the awards’ stand after placing fifth in their respective weight classes. Seniors Garett Borth and Marcus Cudd both finished seventh last year while senior Cooper Andrea placed 11th.
The Wildcats tuned up for the Northern Badger by going 5-0 to take first place at the Chieftain Duals Saturday, Dec. 21, in Osceola. The Cats beat St. Croix Central 57-21, Clear Lake 57-24, Cumberland 55-24, Osceola 51-30, and Boycevile 57-24. Travis Moelter (106 pounds), James Hampton (126), Vito Massa (145), and Borth (182) all went 5-0 with Borth and Massa both posting five pins.
The Northern Badger Classic gets underway at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 27 with first through fifth round matches followed by quarterfinal matches. Action continues Saturday, Dec. 28 with consolation quarterfinals followed by medal placing matches, semifinals, medal round matches and finals.