The Northern Badger two day tournament held over the holiday break is one of the toughest events of the season for the Osceola Chieftains. Competing against 39 schools is tough enough, but this year’s tournament added a little extra to remember. The first day of competition went as expected but the second day had a little spin to it.
“We left at 7:10 a.m. to make the 8:30 weigh-ins and it was dry in Osceola,” Osceola coach Nate Demulling began. “By the time we got to Somerset the roads were not drivable. The Somerset coach, Ali Peterson, graciously let us wait in their high school as they were waiting for road conditions to improve. The River Falls staff has to be given a lot of credit. They took a tough situation and handled it beyond well, making sure all competitors could compete. After a few hours we tried the roads again, but they were still dangerous. The Osceola and Somerset busses both went in the ditch less than a mile from their high school. Both schools then decided to cancel transportation and call the buses back. Fortunately, we were able to contact parents who were then able to bring their wrestlers to the tournament. River Falls delayed the start time to make sure all teams could be there and it was appreciated. Our guys handled it well and didn’t let it get to them.”
Osceola placed seventh overall among the 39 teams but once again was short-handed, this time due to illnesses which sidelined two of the Chieftain wrestlers while others wrestled at less than 100%. When the scores were totaled it was St. Croix Falls placing first overall. The Middle Border had four of the top 10 teams at the meet including Osceola, Amery, Baldwin-Woodville and St. Croix Central.
“The MBC is the toughest conference in the area,” Demulling noted.
Osceola competed in 12 of the 14 weight classes and advanced eight wrestlers to the second day of competition.
“Thomas Oswald and Nick Carlson were our highest finishes at third place,” Demulling said. “Logan Johnson took home fourth. Johnson and Carlson both lost tough semi- final matches in overtime. As a team, our guys are headed in the right direction. We need to continue improving and finish strong in the second half of the season. We’re back in action January 9 against Ellsworth and on the 11th at the New Richmond Invitational where will see some tough competition.”