The Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestling team is peaking at the right time as it wraps up the regular season and prepares for regionals. The Cardinals beat Mondovi 48-24 Thursday night, are coming off a championship at a 17-team tournament in Shell Lake last weekend with just 11 wrestlers and head coach Bill Hofacker said he’s very happy with the season his team has put together.

“It’s been a real good season, the kids are getting better every week and coming along nicely,” he said. “We have one more dual at Durand and if we win that we win (the Dunn-St. Croix) conference. It’s been a real good season for us.”

The Cardinals were ravaged by the flu to start the season and as a result wrestled their first few tournaments, including the Ellsworth Invitational, with just a handful of wrestlers. They finally got fully healthy around the time of the Northern Badger Classic during the holidays where they took eighth out of 13 teams in the second division.

Since then, SVE took fifth out of 11 teams at the New Richmond Invitational, beat Boyceville 45-30, beat Glenwood City 48-18 and wrestled at the Chippewa Falls Invite. In the win against Mondovi, the two teams only wrestled five matches with the rest being forfeits. Paul Schwebach won by fall in 1 minute, 24 seconds at 170 pounds over Mitchell Fedie. Travis Marty lost to Nathan Pelke by a 5-0 decision at 220. At 138, Max Schmitt fell to Cody Wagner by a 4-1 decision and Cross Hurlburt was pinned by Lance Crawford at 152. Wrapping up the night was Brayden Wolf who pinned Alan George in 1:41 at 160.

They go to Menomonie for a dual meet tournament Friday night and then wrap up the regular season with their showdown at Durand, which Hofacker said his team matches up very well with. The Panthers also have some number problems so he anticipates only wrestling around 10 of the 14 possible matches.

Hofacker said his team has really improved their ability to wrestle and score on their feet as well as on top with their turns. But like all teams, they need to work on their bottom wrestling and in general being more aggressive.

“I’d like to get them to wrestle through moves, follow through with everything instead of half attempts and backing out,” he said. “Be more aggressive on their feet, going after guys more, doing their stuff and not reacting (to the other wrestler).”

Spring Valley/Elmwood's Brayden Wolf picks up and throws Mondovi's Alan George before pinning him in the Cardinals' 48-24 win Thursday night against the Buffaloes. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia
Spring Valley/Elmwood's Brayden Wolf picks up and throws Mondovi's Alan George before pinning him in the Cardinals' 48-24 win Thursday night against the Buffaloes. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

Hofacker also singled out some wrestlers who have really improved since last season and impressed so far this winter.

“Brayden Wolf has really come around this year, our 160 pounder, he’s turning into a really good wrestler,” he said. “Travis Marty has made big leaps and bounds since last year. Our 106 pounder, Haeli Casey, she’s like 10-7 with five pins, she’s doing pretty well for how little she is, she’s fun to watch, never quits.”

What’s the goal once the regular season is over?

“Win regionals and get as many kids to sectionals as we can,” Hofacker said.

Regionals for the Cardinals is Feb. 15 at Durand.

Area results

The Prescott Cardinals wrestling team lost at Osceola to the Chieftains Thursday night 60-22. Prescott forfeited the 113, 120, 138, 145, 160, 170 and 182-pound weight classes, which spotted Osceola 42 team points. In the seven matches wrestles, the Cardinals won four and outscored Osceola 22-18.

Isaiah Tulip beat Isaac Campeau by fall in 3:25 at 152, Joe Schulte pinned Tyler Johnson in 2:42 at 220, at 285 Shawn Thomason pinned Ty Graves in 1:39 and Shane Butler won by a 13-3 major decision at 126. Matthew Lynes was pinned in 2:56 at 132, Zach Middleton was pinned in 10 seconds by Nick Carlson at 195 and Bennie Olson lost by fall in 3:13 to Mason Rud at 106.

Prescott goes to Cannon Falls for a quadrangular next Thursday and then the Middle Border Conference tournament is Saturday, Feb. 8, at New Richmond.

Ellsworth 34, Amery 15

The Ellsworth Panthers cruised to victory against Amery Thursday night, winning 10 out of 14 matches. Logan Peterson (220 pounds), Kyle Anschutz (285), Cale Ekholm (106), Corey Poellinger (113), Anthony Madsen (152), Carter Huppert (160), Ryan Matzek (170) and Mike Hines (182) all won by decision for the Panthers. Cole Nelson (120) and Charlie Stuhl (138) each won by tech fall.

Losing for Ellsworth were Jack Voelker (126) by decision, Bailey Poellinger (132) by major decision, Braden Matzek (145) by decision and Ian Matzek (195) by tech fall.

Ellsworth goes to Lakeville North for a triangular with North and Prior Lake on Friday and then the Middle Border Conference tournament is Feb. 8 in New Richmond.