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Wrestlers begin season at Black River Falls

The Abbotsford/Colby wrestling coop’s season is up and running after travelling to Black River Falls for the Black River Falls Invite on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The co-op had finished second in the tournament the year before, but there would be no hardware this year as the coop placed sixth out of 14 teams with 121 points.

Portage took the tournament with a team score of 210.5 points, Stratford was second with 150.5 and Viroqua finished in third with 148 points.

Abby/Colby’s final team score is misleading as the co-op was without the services of two of their best wrestlers - last year’s 138 pound Cloverbelt champion Mason Wellman and last year’s 220 pound champion Carter Grewe.

Grewe and Wellman were forced to sit out as they were recovering from injuries sustained during the football season this fall. Gone too were last year’s seniors Joe Aguilera, Chance Clement and Angelo Hutman - with all three placing in the top three of their respective weight classes last year.

In their absence, the co-op was led by a pair of first place wrestlers. River Halopka and Brandon Vicente each captured their respective weight classes on Saturday.

For Halopka, a junior and last year’s lone representative at state, it was back to back titles.

Halopka had won the 106 title in 2018, but this year he stepped up several weight classes and competed in the 126 pound division.

The move did not seem to hamper Halopka, who had a tremendous start to the new season, winning all four of his matches, with two coming by way of pinfall, including a 24 second pin in the semifinal. Halopka’s first place finish scored 28 points for the co-op.

Vicente had competed in the 152 weight class last season, but is now competing in the 170 weight class.

Vicente may just well be the breakout star for Abby/Colby this season, and announced his presence as he swept all four of his matches via pinfall. Vicente picked up a team high 30 points for the co-op.

Jose Rodriguez was the next highest finisher for Abby/Colby, placing fifth in the 120 pound weight class. Rodriguez went 4-1 in his matches, recovering from a slow start that saw him drop his quarterfi nal match.

Rodriguez bounced back, taking his next three matches, with two pins and one decision as he earned 13 team points.

Hunter Mess placed sixth on Saturday. Mess moved up from the 126 weight class and was competing in the 138 pound division.

Mess had placed second in the 126 in 2018, but there would no top three finish in 2019. Mess won his first match via pin, but dropped his quarterfinal match.

He recovered in his next two matches, with one win coming through pinfall and the other a 3-0 decision. Mess would drop his fifth place match to place sixth in the 138 weight class, and earn 11 team points. Levi Dommer would also finish in sixth place for the co-op, earning 13 team points in the 195 weight class. Dommer went 3-2, taking three victories, all by pinfall.

Two wrestlers did not place for Abby/ Colby, but did split their matches, going 2-2.

Xavier Digman wrestled in the 160 pound weight class and earned one victory via pinfall. Andrew Jeske was the other Abby/Colby wrestler to go 2-2 on the day. Jeske won both of his matches through pins.

Grady Steinman went 1-2 in the 106 weight class, with one victory by pin. Lucas Bauman also went 1-2 in the 113 weight class, with his win coming via pinfall.

Talon Severson finished 1-2 in the 152 weight class, with his lone victory coming via pinfall. Devin Thums wrestled in the 220 weight class and also went 1-2.

Angel Maganda finisshed Saturday 0-2 in the 145 weight class and Angel Diaz was 0-2 in the 195 weight class.