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Four wrestlers head to state

Hudson freshman Peter Hansen gets Marshfield's Nolan Hertel off his feet in the 145-pound match at the WIAA Division 1 Team Sectional Tuesday, Feb. 13, in Marshfield. Submitted photo 1 / 2
Hudson senior Jacob Anderson pins Eric Grulke of Rhinelander in 1 minute, 56 seconds in a 160-pound quarterfinal match at the WIAA Division 1 individual sectional Saturday, Feb. 17, at Wausau West High School. Anderson went on to win the 160-pound title and will be one of four Raiders competing at the WIAA Individual State Championships this weekend in Madison. Photo courtesy of Lisa Flanary 2 / 2

After dropping a close 41-36 match to Marshfield in the WIAA Division 1 Team Sectional Tuesday, Feb. 13, in Marshfield, the Raider wrestling team had four individuals advance out of the individual sectional tournament Saturday, Feb. 17, in Wausau.

Seniors Jacob Anderson, Mitchell Anderson and Cole Godbout, and sophomore Leo Draveling, all qualified for the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Championships this Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22-24, at the Kohl Center in Madison. It's the third state tournament appearance for Jacob Anderson and Mitchell Anderson, the second for Godbout and the first for Draveling.

Jacob Anderson, who earlier this season became Hudson's all-time leader in wins, added first three-time sectional champion to his resume by winning the 160-pound title Saturday. After pinning Eric Grulke of Rhinelander and earning a 19-4 technical fall over Jake Boyette of Menomonie, he pinned Nathan Fehlen of New Richmond in 3 minutes, 17 seconds for his third straight sectional title.

"Jacob Anderson just keeps piling it on," Raider head coach Chris Hansen said. "He is now the only three-time sectional champ in Hudson history."

Mitchell Anderson, Godbout and Draveling all placed second in their respective weight classes to qualify for state.

After dropping a close 3-1 decision to Thomas Severson of D.C. Everest in the 132-pound title match, Mitchell Anderson clinched second place by pinning Carter Duerkop of Eau Claire North in 2:41 in his wrestleback.

"Mitchell Anderson not only became a three-time state qualifier, he won his 100th career match along the way," Hansen noted. "A rare milestone that was well earned."

Godbout faced River Falls' Mitchell Williamson for the second time in two weeks in the 285-pound finals, and for the second straight week came out on the short end of a close decision, losing 7-3. Godbout avoided a wrestleback for second place by virtue of his 14-6 major decision over Noah Bolling of Merrill in the semifinals.

Draveling pinned his way through the first two rounds before losing to Justin Groshek of Stevens Point in the 106 title match. He earned second place by rule over Damien Bennet of Wisconsin Rapids thanks to his win over Bennet in the semifinals.

Vincent Fanning was one of three Raider seniors who wrestled their final matches at the sectional. Fanning pinned Payton Vaughn of D.C. Everest in the 138-pound quarterfinals on his way to a fourth place finish while classmates Isaac Hatch and Zeke Schwarz lost their opening round matches at 120 and 182 pounds, respectively.

"All three contributed greatly over their career and all were a pleasure to coach," Hansen said.

At the team sectional in Marshfield Tuesday, Feb. 13, Hudson came up just short in its bid for a fourth straight trip to team state with a 41-36 loss to the host Tigers.

"It was a great dual," Hansen said. "It came down to a single match and that is what we thought. Our kids wrestled real well. We were a slight underdog going in and we remained a slight underdog coming out. I think both teams knew there was two key matches and we had to win just one of them. Unfortunately, they both went the other way."

Jacob Anderson moved up to 170 pounds and recorded a pin in the second match of the night but the Raiders' next points didn't come until Godbout received a forfeit at 285. Draveling followed with a pin at 106 but the Tigers won the next three matches with a technical fall, pin and major decision before Fanning and Mitchell Anderson earned back-to-back pins at 132 and 138. Hank Gierke earned Hudson's final points of the night with a pin at 152.

Hudson's four individual state qualifiers begin competition with first round matches Thursday, Feb. 22, at Madison's Kohl Center.

Jacob Anderson, who placed fifth at 152 pounds at state a year ago, takes a record of 41-2 into his first round match against Devin Keast of Oregon (28-9) while 2017 runner-up Godbout (39-5) will face Alan Olkowski of Waunakee (41-6) in the first round. Mitchell Anderson enters the tournament with a record of 29-13 and will wrestle Zach Weiler of Burlington (42-8) in the first round while Draveling (34-10) will face Blake Peiffer of Port Washington (43-2).

Action continues at the Kohl Center Thursday night with quarterfinals beginning at 5:15 p.m. Consolation round matches begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23 with consolation semifinals at 1:45 p.m. and championship semifinals at 7 p.m. Consolation wrestlebacks and third and fifth place matches begin Saturday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. with championship matches scheduled for 5 p.m.

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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