HUDSON, Wis.-- After a one-year hiatus, the Raider wrestling team clinched at least a share of its fifth Big Rivers Conference championship in six years last Thursday with a convincing 57-21 victory over Menomonie before going on to place third at Saturday’s St. Croix Falls Wrestling Classic.
Hudson, now 4-1 in BRC duals, still has one conference match remaining at winless Rice Lake Thursday, Jan. 30, but last Thursday’s win over Menomonie assured them of at least a share of their 13th BRC title.
“Amazingly, when I moved to Hudson, the wrestling team had never won a conference championship in history,” head coach Chris Hansen noted. “The banner on the wall in the gym was blank. That dated back to 1959 with many years in the Middle Border Conference and then, of course, the move to the Big Rivers. Now, I am very proud to say we have won 13 titles in the last 17 seasons.”
Hudson received pins from AJ Henn, Riley Steltzner, Erik Stubbendick, Leo Draveling, Peter Hansen and Jacob Hansen in Thursday night’s win.
Coach Hanen said the dual didn’t include any particular big wins, but it was probably the Raiders’ best team effort of the season. He said he was very pleased to get sophomore Stubbendick into the lineup, where he was able to pick up a victory with a pin.
“The value of depth can never be overstated,” Hansen said.
Saturday the Raiders placed third at the annual St. Croix Falls Classic, an event Hansen called arguably the toughest tournament of the year in northern Wisconsin. Of the 22 teams in the field eight were state-ranked and the Raiders finished higher than five of them.
Hudson was led by individual champions Draveling at 145 pounds and Peter Hansen at 160. Draveling was also named tournament MVP after beating fourth-ranked Walker Ingham of Amery in the semifinals and top-ranked Kole Marko of St. Croix Falls in the finals.
Hansen's championship came a little easier, putting up 19 points in the semifinals and another 12 in the finals.
Hank Gierke also reached the finals at 182 pounds where he lost to No. 1 ranked Trett Joles of Boyceville. Jacob Hansen placed third, losing to top-ranked Clayton Whiting of Oconto Falls in the 170 pound semifinals before beating 12th-ranked Garret Borth, 7-0.
Ryan Rambo contributed a fourth place finish to the Raiders’ team score and Ben Steltzner and Dakota Rose both placed fifth while Jacob Fanning took seventh and Matt Feia finished eighth.
Host St. Croix Falls won the team title with 197 points and Princeton (Minn.) was second with 170 while Hudson took third with 157.5.
Wildcats seventh at SCF Classic
River Falls, led by individual champion Vito Massa at 138 pounds, finished seventh in the 22-team field with 110 points. Massa defeated Mason Tylee of Amery by a 16-8 major decision to claim his title.
Tyler Haydon placed second at 152 pounds for the Wildcats and Owen Larson (132) and Borth (170) each placed fourth while Miles Longsdorf was fifth at 145 pounds, Gavin Kohel was seventh at 160 and Travis Moelter (106) and Austin Mueller (195) each finished eighth.