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Raider wrestlers pass first BRC test

Hudson freshman Leo Draveling pins River Falls' sophomore Bennett Cernohous in 1 minute, 2 seconds in the final match of the night at 106 pounds for his first varsity victory in the Raider wrestling team's 55-18 victory over the Wildcats in River Falls Dec. 1. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Bob Burrows)

Hudson's wrestling team has known for a long time that it would be opening the 2016-17 season against a tough River Falls team that tied for second in the Big Rivers Conference last year.

But the Wildcats were no match for the Raiders last Thursday night in River Falls, as Hudson won 11 of the 14 matches, including five straight at the end, to post a 55-18 BRC victory.

Even Raider head coach Chris Hansen was impressed.

“We lost so many talented kids to graduation, so to come out of the gate and win against last season's second place team by that large margin is pretty incredible,” he said. “Amazingly, we actually increased the margin of victory from a year ago.”

Mitchell Anderson and Logan Hatch posted back-to-back pins at 126 and 132 pounds to help Hudson open up a 16-6 lead four matches in. After the Cats cut it to 16-12, Jake Midby, Jacob Anderson, and Cody Cicha all recorded pins at 145, 152 and 160, respectively.

River Falls' posted its third pin of the night at 170 to make the score 34-18 but the Raiders won the final five matches, two in overtime, to take the 55-18 victory.

“The biggest thing is we won the close matches,” Hansen said. “There were three matches that came down to the wire and we won all three of them. Tyrel Busby, especially, pulled out a great win against a talented kid.”

Busby battled Chance Kamrowski into overtime before getting a takedown to earn an 8-6 victory at 182 pounds. Sam Kelcher followed with a 3-2 victory at 195 pounds and Cole Godbout recorded a first minute pin at 220 before Isac Schindler earned a 3-2 ultimate tiebreak win after four overtimes at 285.

Freshman Leo Draveling pinned his 106 pound opponent in 1:02 to put the finishing touches on Hudson's win.

“I am very happy for Leo Draveling to get his first ever varsity win as a 9th grader,” Hansen said. “He is going to win a lot of matches over the next four years.”

The Raiders followed up Thursday night's dual victory with a second place finish Saturday at the 12-team Lakeville North Panther Invitational. Scott West (Minn.) took the team title with 262.5 points and Hudson took second with 167.5 while Eagan, Minn. was third with 123.5.

Jacob Anderson at 152 pounds, Godbout at 220 and Schindler at 285 earned individual titles while Mitchell Anderson, at 126, and Logan Hatch at 132, were runners-up.

Jacob Anderson defeated second-ranked Austin Braun of Woodbury, 6-3, in the 152 championship bout while Hatch knocked off third-ranked Kaden Gage of Eagan in the 132 pound semifinals. Kelcher knocked off tournament top-seed Antwan McLenty of Eagan in his opening match on his way to a fourth place finish at 195 pounds.

Hansen said it was a great start to the new season.

“I am very pleased with both events,” he said.

The Raiders will face another early-season test when they host Eau Claire North in a BRC dual Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.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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