Freshmen lead NGL to third-place finish at Northern Badger
Three Neillsville-Greenwood-Loyal freshmen finished in the top seven of their respective weight classes to help the team to a third-place finish in the large school division of the 38-team Northern Badger wrestling tournament held on Dec. 27-28 at River Falls.
At 220 pounds, freshman Gunner Hoffman stormed through his class to take first place and extend his season record to 15-1. Already ranked third in the state in Division 2 in his weight class, Hoffman defeated sophomore Robert Beese (8-1) of Amery 9-3 in the championship match.
At 106 pounds, fellow freshman Luke Dux fared nearly as well as Hoffman, taking second place and pushing his season mark to 14-2. Dux won all his matches to reach the finals, where he was pinned in 3:05 by freshman Brayden Sonnentag (13-1) of Cadott. Dux was ranked fifth in his weight class in the latest state Division 2 individual rankings.
Freshman Keeghan Anding helped NGL to its thirdplace finish with a seventh-place standing at 132 pounds. He improved his season mark to 13-5 with a seventh-place match pin of Osceola senior Drew Willeman (17-5) in 3:36.
Senior Nathan Buchanan had a sixth-place finish at the Northern Badger meet at 170 pounds. He had improved his season mark to 13-3 until falling to Rhinelander junior Walker Hartman (15-3) in 2:59 in the fifth-place match.
At 120 pounds, NGL freshman Gage Ludovic placed ninth and pushed his season mark to 10-5. Junior Tommy Friemoth also placed ninth, at 160 pounds, and is now 11-7 on the year.
River Falls won the large school title at the meet with 280.5 points. Baldwin-Woodville was runner-up with 224 points, NGL was third at 191.5, Osceola was next at 190.5, and Oshkosh West finished fifth with 137. St. Croix Falls won the team title in the middle school division and Cadott cruised to the small school crown, scoring almost twice as many points (314) as its closest competitor Boyceville (164).
Ackmans place high for Rockets at Bi-State
The Spencer-Columbus wrestling team competed at the Dec. 27-28 Bi-State Classic in La Crosse, and brothers Ashton and Treyton Ackman both came home with top-four finishes.
At 113 pounds, senior Ashton Ackman made his way through the brackets undefeated, until he ran into Holmen junior Sam Smith (16-3). Smith needed overtime to notch the 6-4 decision to hand Ackman his first loss of the season after 18 wins.