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Panther wrestlers impressive in opening wins

In Division 3 wrestling in this sectional, Shell Lake is one of the top teams that each team measures themselves against.

So when the St. Croix Central wrestling team opened the season last Thursday by sweeping a double-dual meet with Shell Lake and Luck, it showed the improvement the Panther wrestlers bring into the 2005-06 season.

Panther coach Brad Holzer was hoping to get two wins at the match in Luck, but knew both would be close battles.

"We should be much improved," Holzer said. "I don't know if we're at the top echelon yet, but we're pretty close."

Holzer said he didn't know if the Panthers could yet be at the same level as perennial Dunn-St. Croix Conference powers Boyceville and Glenwood City, but those teams give the Panthers a goal to aim toward.

Curtis Hinkel, Mark Shaver and Mike Winkler each went 2-0 in Thursday's matches. The Panthers had to forfeit at 112 pounds. They have two injuries, and those two wrestlers are the Panthers' 112-pounders.

Eye opener

If the Panthers were feeling good about themselves, they were brought back to Earth when they wrestled in the Ellsworth Invitational on Saturday. The Panthers took seventh place among the 10 teams in the meet, which included several state-ranked teams.

Shaver and Jimmer Beedy both earned second place in their weight class at the tournament. Shaver made one of the bigger comebacks in the tournament. He trailed an Ellsworth wrestler 12-1, then came back to pin the Ellsworth opponent in the third period. In the finals Shaver lost to a powerful opponent from Cadott. Beedy was beaten in the finals by a wrestler from Ellsworth.

Hinkel was in one of the toughest classes of the tournament at 112 pounds. In the semifinal he lost in overtime to a three-time tournament champion from Medford. The competition was even tougher in the third place match, where Hinkel faced defending Division 3 112-pound state champion Greg Sonnetag of Cadott. Sonnetag was able to pin Hinkel in the second period.

The Panthers are in another tough tournament this Saturday, when they compete at La Crosse Logan. The next dual meet for the Panthers is next Tuesday, when they compete at Somerset.

St. Croix Central 35, Shell Lake 32

125 - Dan Mataczynski (SCC) pinned Halvorson :28. 130 - Halvorson (SL) dec. Mike Nilssen 11-0. 135 - Mark Shaver (SCC) dec. Hillman 11-3. 140 - Garret Truesdill (SCC) dec. Simpson 4-2. 145 - Kyle Helgeson (SCC) dec. Vanderhoof 12-4. 152 - Mike Winkler (SCC) dec. Rock 13-10. 160 - Knoop (SL) pinned Dez Zimmerman 3:02. 171 - Smith (SL) pinned Ben Perry 2:51. 189 - Kidder (SL) dec. Brett Bierbrauer 17-5. 215 - Sam Wells (SCC) won by forfeit. 275 - Jake Lyons (SCC) dec. Fields 5-2. 103 - Campbell (SL) pinned Jimmer Beedy 3:04. 112 - Christ (SL) won by forfeit. 119 - Curtis Hinkel (SCC) pinned Hoesth :42.

St. Croix Central 35, Shell Lake 32

119 - Curtis Hinkel (SCC) pinned Ball 2:53.125 - Hansen (L) dec. Dan Mataczynski 10-2. 130 - Mike Nilssen (SCC) dec. Harvey 8-7. 135 - Mark Shaver (SCC) dec. Lundmark 10-0. 140 - Boileau (L) dec. Garret Truesdill 7-6. 145 - Storenst (L) dec. Kyle Helgeson 6-4. 152 - Mike Winkler (SCC) pinned Correnent 1:36. 160 - Dez Zimmerman (SCC) dec. Schallen 12-2. 171 - Ben Perry (SCC) pinned Gruel 1:51. 189 - Brett Bierbrauer (SCC) pinned Zappa 5:21. 215 - Stonesifer (L) pinned Sam Wells 1:52. 275 - Dittenbrenner (L) dec. Jake Lyons 6-3. 103 - Rikkola (L) dec. Jimmer Beedy 15-2. 112 - Gross (L) won by forfeit.

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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