When and where: Dec. 27 and 28 at Northern Badger in River Falls
Outcome: St. Croix Falls finished in first place at the 2019 Northern Badger tournament in River Falls out of 40 teams. This was the third consecutive year the Saints have won this prestigious tournament. Second place went to Cadott which is currently ranked fifth in the state with River Falls placimg third overall.
Summary: Every wrestler on the SCF team scored points for the team’s victory. SCF had 11 wrestlers out of 14 place in the top 12 in their respective weight class.
Highlights: The team was led by Zack Clark, Kole Marko, and Tanner Gaffey making the finals. Marko (145) and Gaffey (285) won their weights while Clark (138) finished in second place. Marko and Gaffey both remain undefeated for the entire season. Luke Thaemert (106) placed third while Mason Will (120) placed fourth.
Comments: “The team did a great job staying focused throughout the tournament,” St. Croix Falls coach Joe Raygor said. “This tournament has lots of down time and it was important to make sure everyone had their nutrition, warm ups, and mentalities dialed in.”
When and Where: Jan. 4 at Ogilvie, Minnesota
Outcome: St. Croix Falls once again finished first overall as a team at the 40th Ogilvie Lion Invitational. Individual champions were Will (120), Marko (145), Kyle Zehm (220) and Gaffey (285).
Comments: “I was proud of how the team responded after having a slow start in the early morning,” Raygor said. “We had just competed the previous weekend in the grueling Northern Badger and I knew it would be somewhat of an emotional drop-off. This team fights for each other and finds a way to win in tough situations. James Kemp stuck out to me as having a really good day. He’s a wrestler that is giving up 10 to 15 pounds a match to kids and just absolutely battles for his teammates and town. After losing to the champion in the quarters, he went 3-0 (the rest of the day) and ended the day placing fifth.”
Upcoming: “This Thursday we take on Bloomer/Colfax at home at 7 p.m. for another Heart of the North dual meet,” Raygor said.