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Spartans have five wrestlers place at 2008 Northern Badger

Alex Putz (front) earned his fourth win of the season for the Spartans during the tournament at River Falls.

Five Somerset wrestlers finished as placewinners in the 2008 Northern Badger Wrestling Invitational.

The tournament was held on Dec. 29-30 at River Falls High School.

Getting five placewinners was one of the best performances in several years for the Spartans at the Northern Badger.

Leading the Spartans was senior Darrin Emmeck, who placed fifth in the heavyweight class. Emmeck, who is now 11-3 this season, only lost once in the tournament. That came in the quarterfinals against Lakeland's Jeff Raymond, who has a 15-2 record.

The surprise of the meet for the Spartans had to be freshman Haydon Dvorak, who placed seventh at 171 pounds. Seeing a freshman have this kind of success in the upper weights is rare, but Dvorak beat several quality opponents to get to seventh place.

"He wrestles really smart," Somerset coach Mike Kappers said as a reason for Dvorak's success. "He wants to be a good wrestler and we're going to try to get him there."

Sophomore Isaac Neumann was an eighth place finisher at 160 pounds. He had the misfortune to twice run up against a strong opponent in Jeremy Poirier of Osseo-Fairchild. He finished 4-3 in the tournament.

Senior Alex Praschak had more than his share of close matches to finish in ninth place at 152 pounds. Praschak is now 8-6 on the season.

Senior Caleb Belter was the fifth placewinner for the Spartans. He took 12th place at 130 pounds. Belter now has a 9-6 record for the season.

The Spartans face a grueling January schedule and it starts at home this Thursday. That's when the Spartans face defending Middle Border Conference champion Ellsworth, starting at 7 p.m.

This Saturday the Spartans will compete in the Hudson High School Varsity Wrestling Team Tournament in the Hudson East and West gyms.

Schools competing in the tournament are Ellsworth, Hudson, Amery, Stillwater, Somerset, Cameron, Hutchinson and St. Paul Johnson. The first round of wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m.

Somerset individual results

112 - Luke Henry (0-2) DNP

119 - Alex Putz (1-2) DNP

125 - Austin Bushinger (2-2) DNP

130 - Caleb Belter (3-4) 12th

135 - Dillon Wood (0-2) DNP

140 - Mikey Rivard (0-2) DNP

152 - Alex Praschak (4-2) ninth

160 - Isaac Neumann (4-3) eighth

171 - Haydon Dvorak (5-2) seventh

189 - Dillon Schaeffer (1-2) DNP

215 - Carris Bible (2-2) DNP

285 - Darrin Emmeck (5-1) fifth

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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