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Prairie du Chien Wrestling goes 5-0 at SWC Duals to win fifth consecutive conference title

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Prairie du Chien junior Irelynd Cejka returned to the mat at the SWC Duals after a recent layoff due to an injury earlier in the season. She is seen here locking up against Belmont/Platteville’s Dylan Weigel. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

During their match at 144 pounds, Prairie's Jackson Perkins gets River Valley's Spencer Sackett into position for a pinfall to be called. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Bryce Lenzendorf works to take down River Valley's Ty Larson. Lenzendorf would win by pin in 2:41. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

The Hawks got eight pinfall victories during their match win over the River Valley Blackhawks, including one here by Jack MacEachern over Drew Reidel in 0:54. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Every so often a height disparity is noticeable in wrestling as seen here with PdC's Blake Thiry kneeling down in order to lock up with Belmont/Platteville's Cam Moore. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By Derick Kelly

 

The Prairie du Chien wrestling team went into the 2024 Southwest Wisconsin Conference Dual Tournament at Lancaster High School on Saturday looking to keep the conference championship in Prairie du Chien for a fifth consecutive season and the Hawks made sure they didn’t take that take lightly by taking care of business in all five duals during the day.

First up for the Hawks was River Valley who were no match as PdC picked up wins in 12 of the 14 matches to earn a 67-9 victory.

Belmont/Platteville was next and they fared only slightly better than River Valley as Prairie du Chien only won 11 of th 14 matches this time as they claimed a 64-15 win over the longtime co-op. With this dual victory, PdC Head Coach Mike Rogge became the first head coach in program history to reach the 100 career dual wins milestone.

The Hawks faced hosts Lancaster in the third round of the day and Prairie came away with a 64-9 victory after again winning 12 of the 14 matches.

Facing the Blackhawks in round four was the Dodgeville Dodgers, who field one of the most formidable groups of light weight wrestlers in Wisconsin and arguably in the nation when they are healthy (senior Reid Spurley, a two-time state champion and a University of Wisconsin commit, is still out due to an injury).  According to preseason rankings by the website Wisconsin Grappler, the Dodgers had the number one ranked wrestlers in Division Two at 113 pounds (Haakon Peterson), 120 pounds (Charlie Meudt), and 126 pounds (Reid Spurley), and the third ranked wrestler at 106 pounds (Shane Rochon).  Spurley’s younger brother Rhet is no slouch as a wrestler either, entering the duals with 25-4 record as a freshman, having also placed sixth at 113 pounds at the Bi-State Classic in December.

However, Prairie du Chien showcased how their overall depth of talent throughout their entire lineup and roster can overcome the firepower of four highly touted wrestlers as the Hawks defeated the Dodgers by the score of 54-21. Prairie du Chien won 10 of the 14 matches to claim the dual victory. Senior Drew Hird earned his 100th career victory during this dual by defeating Dodgeville’s Cody Yoder by pin in 1:13 in their match at 150 pounds.

The final round of the meet pitted the Blackhawks against the Richland Center Hornets as the Hawks looked to complete another undefeated conference season with a victory.

The Hornets were not able to keep up with the Blackhawks as Prairie used wins in 11 of the 14 matches to earn the 66-13 dual win and tournament championship with a 5-0 team record. Going 5-0 during the day for the Hawks were Drake Ingham at 132, who also earned his 100th career victory in the Hawks win over Richland Center, Bryce Lenzendorf at 157/165 pounds, Jeremiah Avery at 165/175 pounds, Blake Thiry at 215 pounds, and Jack Simmons at 285 pounds. Going 4-1 on the day for the Hawks were Hunter Reid (106 pounds), Porter Kossman (113 pounds), Mason Hird (126 pounds), Mason Baumgartner (138/144 pounds), Jackson Perkins (144/150 pounds), and Drew Hird (150/157 pounds).

The Hawks have now won 25 consecutive conference duals since falling at Lancaster 45-26 on Jan. 25, 2019  in the final dual of the 2018-19 conference season.

Prairie du Chien wrestlers will return to the mats on Saturday, Feb. 3 when they travel to Mineral Point for the annual SWAL-SWC Clash Tournament starting at 9 a.m. The two conferences will also host a tournament for girls on Friday night, Feb. 2 at Dodgeville High School starting at 6 p.m.

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