It has been a tough year for sports at all levels in the entire nation. Some teams survived the Covid virus pretty well and some teams were hit hard by it. The Osceola Chieftain wrestling team was one that was hit hard. The virus probably kept some OHS athletes from going out for the sport, which is understandable. Osceola dealt with a depleted roster all season long and was hit particularly hard for Regionals. Two of their top wrestlers were unable to compete due to quarantine and another top wrestler had to default due to injury.
Osceola Coach Nate Demulling said did not make excuses and was proud of the wrestlers that were able to compete for the Chieftains this season. OHS traveled to Baldwin last week to compete in the WIAA Regional meet. The Regional was loaded with talent as Amery edged out Baldwin-Woodville to take the team title by just a point and a half. St. Croix Central finished in third place with Osceola ending up in fourth.
“We were short wrestlers again due to quarantines but that’s the nature of this season,” Demulling began. “Nick Carlson is our lone wrestler advancing to Sectionals at Neillsville. He lost a tight finals match to Kale Hopke from Amery but advanced as the second place finisher. Both wrestlers have battled each other many times over the past couple of years and it’s always a good match. Tyler Johnson and Tanner Viebrock both finished in third place and didn’t get a wrestle back. Both wrestlers competed in tough brackets. Tanner has made some big strides in such a short time this season. I have a feeling he’s going to be the wrestler next year that others will watch out for.”
Kaleb Woodley placed fourth for Osceola, competing in a very tough 138 pound bracket. “He wrestled three gritty matches and fought hard, win or lose,” Demulling noted.
Osceola has three seniors on their roster. Carlson is one of them and will be moving on to the Sectional meet. The other two have had great success over the years but unfortunately competed in their senior season less than full strength.
“Two of our three seniors wrestled their last high school matches today,” Demulling said. “It’s a tough thing, the end of a career but I am so proud of all the work and effort each has put on the mat. Tommy Oswald injured his shoulder early on and struggled through it. He will need surgery in the off-season but wanted to give it one last try. That took a lot of heart and courage.”
“It’s been tough dealing with the pain and not being able to wrestle,” Oswald said, “but I’m glad I’m still able to support my teammates during practice and competition.”
Johnson also dealt with an injury that cost him virtually all of the football season and put him at less than full strength for wrestling.
“Tyler Johnson dealt with an ankle injury that cut his football season short and was sidelined for a few weeks during the wrestling season with an illness.” Demulling continued. “He gave it his all and we thought he had the pin in his semifinal match before getting rolled through and pinned. All the seniors were great leaders in the wrestling room and set good examples for their teammates to follow. I couldn’t be more proud of them and the whole team for how they faced adversity this season.”