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Bi-State brings out Tigers' need to improve

Two New Richmond wrestlers were able to advance to the second day of the Bi-State Classic Wrestling Tournament in La Crosse last week, but neither was able to finish as a placewinner.

Senior Zach Wolff and sophomore Israel Neumann reached the second day of the tournament, meaning they were in the top 16 wrestlers in their weight class. Each of those Tigers then was beaten in overtime in their first match of the second day, meaning they were done for the tournament.

Only five Tigers won matches in the tournament. Colin Melby, Brian Volkert and Victor Wozniak also won matches in the meet.

Wolff went 3-2 in the tournament at 125 pounds. Among his losses was a second period pin against two-time Minnesota state champion Jayson Ness of Bloomington Kennedy. Wolff was the only wrestler in the tournament to make it through the first period against Ness.

"Zach is strong and quick enough to compete with most 125-pounders," said Tiger coach Mark Neumann. "He wants to win very badly."

Israel Neumann went 3-2 at 189 pounds. Even in his losses Neumann kept things close, losing by two points in both cases.

"Israel is starting to show a lot of confidence and maturity for a sophomore," coach Neumann said.

Melby won his first two matches, before being beaten in his next two matches at 171 pounds. Volkert opened the tournament with a pair of pins in the 215-pound bracket, before being pinned in his next two matches.

All five of Wozniak's matches ended in pins. He won three of those matches.

"Victor's improved 300 percent since last season, he's a lot more aggressive on top," coach Neumann said.

The inexperience on the Tiger team showed in the fact that only two of the wrestlers had competed in this tournament previously. The Tigers weren't in the tournament last year because of the team's trip to Las Vegas.

Coach Neumann said the lack of success at Bi-State was a reminder to the wrestlers on what it takes to be successful.

"Our kids want to be good; they know they've got to get tougher and work even harder," he said.

This Thursday the Tigers will return to their Middle Border Conference schedule, competing at Baldwin-Woodville.

On Saturday the Tigers will host the annual New Richmond Invitational. Joining the Tigers in the tournament will be Osceola, St. Croix Central, Luck, Turtle Lake, Unity, Spooner and Whitehall. Preliminaries in the tournament begin at 9:30 a.m.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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