Wrestlers honored at annual banquetThe Raider wrestling team put the finishing touches on another successful season, and handed out team awards to a number of deserving athletes at its annual banquet March 13 at The Orchard banquet facility.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider wrestling team put the finishing touches on another successful season, and handed out team awards to a number of deserving athletes at its annual banquet March 13 at The Orchard banquet facility.
The team said goodbye to three seniors — Tanner Owens, Kolya Hawksford and Drew Krahenbuhl — while looking back at a season than included a final ranking of No. 10 in the state, two individual state tournament place winners, a regional championship and a Big Rivers Conference/Dunn-St. Croix Conference Challenge title.
“It was a remarkable season,” head coach Chris Hansen, who completed his eighth year as Raider head coach, said about the 2011-12 campaign. “I am most proud that we did all that in what could be considered a rebuilding year.”
Owens and Hawksford ended their careers second and third, respectively, on Hudson’s all-time win list. Owens finished fourth at 152 pounds at this year’s WIAA State Individual Tournament and Hawksford was fifth at 160 pounds to give the Raiders two state place winners for just the fifth time in school history and first time since 2008.
Eleven Raiders earned spots on All-Big Rivers Conference teams this season. Owens leaves Hudson as a four-time First Team All-BRC wrestler while Hawksford was named to the All-BRC First Team for the third straight time this season.
Juniors Dima Hawksford and Derek Schindler were also named to the 2012 All-BRC First Team while juniors Nick Nelson and Austin Koski, and sophomore Nic Johnson earned Second Team honors, and sophomores C.J. Steiner, Eliot Motu, Mathias Tobin and Tim Feia earned spots on the All-BRC Third Team.
Highlighting the team awards presented at the banquet was Kolya Hawksford receiving the Raiders’ 2012 Darryl Fellrath Most Valuable Wrestler award.
The Most Improved award, from last year to this year, went to Steiner, while the Most Improved award from the beginning of the season to the end went to Dima Hawksford. Schindler was named Most Dedicated while Nelson earned the Coaches Award.
Freshman of the Year went to Erik Bell and Sophomore of the Year was awarded to Motu. Dima Hawksford earned the Junior of the Year award while Owens was named Senior of the Year.
Hansen said the way his team reacted after losing to second-ranked Wausau West in the WIAA Sectional team finals to end the season made him excited about next year.
“When we lost in the sectional finals to Wausau West, our kids walked away talking about what we need to do right now to beat them next year,” he said. “Most teams would be thankful for a break and a rest.”