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Raider wrestlers shine at Wrestling Classic in La Crosse

Hudson’s Cal Johnson works over Austin Hill of Cuba City/Southwestern before pinning Hill for the victory on the first day of the Bi-State Wrestling Classic Friday in La Crosse. The Raiders finished 11th at the elite 55-team holiday tournament. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Sean Scallon)1 / 4
Hudson’s Yuri Bronson battles an opponent in a 132 pound match at the Bi-State Wrestling Classic Friday in La Crosse. 2 / 4
Hudson’s Trent Goplin tries to gain control against Dodgeville’s Andrew Evenson in a 182 pound match at the Bi-State Wrestling Classic Friday in La Crosse.3 / 4
Sawyer Massie battles Bloomington Kennedy’s Hunter Judge in a second round match at 145 pounds at the Bi-State Wrestling Classic Friday in La Crosse. Massie defeated Judge 6-2 on his way to a seventh place finish.4 / 4

The Raider wrestling team has had quite the grind the past two weeks. After placing fourth at the prestigious Marty Loy Classic in Fond du Lac the week before, the Raiders went right back to work at the elite 55-team Bi-State Classic this past weekend in La Crosse and came away with an 11th place finish.

Head coach Chris Hansen said his team responded well over the weekend in La Crosse.

“I am very pleased with our Bi-State results,” he said. “Twelve of our 14 guys scored team points, eight advanced into the second day of competition and five guys finished in the top nine out of 55 teams.”

Mathias Tobin had the Raiders’ highest finish, placing third at 285 pounds. Tobin reached the semifinals before suffering his only loss, 2-0, to Tristan Wilson of Marshfield. But he came back to beat Sean Benedict of Middleton, 6-2, in the consolation semifinals before defeating Tristin Holden of Nekoosa/Port Edwards, 4-1 in the third place match.

“Mathias Tobin continues to impress me with each event we enter,” Hansen said. “He knocked off three top 10 opponents at the Bi-State to finish an impressive third. I couldn't be more pleased with how he is wrestling.”

Sophomore Sawyer Massie wrestled to a seventh place finish at 145 pounds and Matt Koski finished seventh at 120.

“Matt Koski improved from 11th as a freshman to seventh this year,” Hansen noted. “It is very, very rare to be a four-time Bi-State place winner and Matt has put himself in position to do that.  He should continue to climb over the next two seasons.”

Senior Eliot Motu placed seventh at 220 pounds and sophomore Dylan Anderson contributed a ninth place finish at 160 pounds.

“We are counting on a lot of underclassmen this year and having three sophomores place was very impressive,” Hansen said. “First year varsity wrestler Dylan Anderson won six matches over the two day event to place ninth. Dylan has been wrestling up a weight class all year and this was his first chance at 160 pounds. He looked great at that weight class.”

The Raiders are off until Thursday, Jan. 9, when they return to Big Rivers Conference dual action at home against Eau Claire Memorial. Saturday, Jan. 11, they host the Hudson Invitational beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the high school.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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