Northwestern wins HON wrestling championship

The Northwestern High School wrestling team won its first Heart O' North Conference Tournament championship in what is believed to be 38 years Saturday in Bloomer.

Members of the Northwestern High School wrestling team celebrate after winning the Heart O’ North Conference championship Saturday in Bloomer. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Pooler)

The Northwestern High School wrestling team won its first Heart O’ North Conference Tournament championship in what is believed to be 38 years Saturday in Bloomer.

The Tigers finished with 179 team points and Cumberland was second with 160 points.

Northwestern had three individual champions - Calen Kirkpatrick (138 pounds), Donny Pooler (170) and Morgan Berggren (285).

Kirkpatrick, a three-time state qualifier, improved to 24-5 with three pins, including one over the state’s 12th-ranked wrestler, Tim Coyne of Hayward.

Pooler put his injury-riddled season behind him and picked up his 100th career win during the tournament, which included a 4-1 win over state-ranked Sam Peters of Chetek-Weyerhaeuser/Prairie Farm.


Pooler also pinned his two other opponents to improve to 15-3.

Berggren is now 22-4 with two pins and an 8-2 win over Jacob Kopvicka (CWPF) in the title match.

The Tigers also had four wrestlers finish in third place - Braden Trautt (113), Tjay Ziebarth (120), Zach Pooler (145) and Andrew Hanson (182).

“We showed up to wrestle, came in focused and kept that focus all day,” NHS coach Grady Radabaugh said. “That’s not always easy during a long day of wrestling. But we have an experienced team  and have great senior leadership.

“Having 10 of our 12 wrestlers finish top four was huge. Our practices leading up to Saturday were intense and that kicked in on Saturday.”

The Tigers will host the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Joining Northwestern will be Ashland, Rice Lake, Spooner/Webster, Hayward/Northwood and Barron.

The top two finishers in each weight class will advance to the sectional tournament Feb. 17 at Amery.


Northwestern was regional champion in both 2015 and 2016, which entitled it to wrestle in the WIAA Team Sectional tournament.


Heart O’ North Conference

Wrestling Tournament

Saturday, Feb. 3 at Bloomer

  1. Northwestern, 179.5; 2. Cumberland, 160; 3. Barron, 149; 4. Superior, 145; 5. Ashland, 117; 6. Ladysmith, 112; 7. Chetek-Weyerhaeuser-Prairie Farm, 104.5; 8. Spooner, 89.5; 9. Bloomer/Colfax, 81; 10. Hayward, 68.5.

Northwestern’s Results

106 - Abby Nelson, fourth place: def. Alex Daniels (Sp.), 8-7; pinned by Jared Stricker (A), 3:17; def. Wyatt Johnson (Sup.), MD 14-5; lost by forfeit to Alex Cox (Ba.).

113 - Braden Trautt, third place: pinned Tucker Johnson (Sup.), 3:06; lost by tech fall to Erik Gerovac (A), 15-0; pinned Julia Cox (Ba.), 1:39; pinned Tyler Dicus (L), 2:40.


120 - Tjay Ziebarth, third place: pinned Gabby Skidmore (Cumb.), 3:54; lost to Sawyer Best (Bl./C), MD 14-0; pinned Austin Mills (Sup.), 2:34; pinned Jayden Windsor (H), 5:13.

132 - Brody Burke, fourth place: def. DJ Livingston (L), 9-7; pinned by Reid Olson (Cumb.), 0:41; won by tech fall over Darren Tippett (A), 19-4; pinned by Jackson Massie (Ba.), 3:01.

138 - Calen Kirkpatrick (24-5), first place: pinned Billy Niles (L), 0:41; pinned Gage Nelson (CWPF), 0:54; pinned Tim Coyne (H), 2:51.

145 - Zach Pooler, third place: pinned Willy Bearskin (A), 0:36; lost to Tristan Massie (Ba.), 7-2; pinned Kyle Schmidt (Bl/C), 2:30; def. Brandon McClure (Sup.), 5-1.

160 - Luke Gregerson, fourth place: pinned Nathan Anderson (Sup.), 2:00; lost to Chase Melton (Sp.), 7-0; pinned Nathon Rosohowski (Bl./C), 0:51; pinned by Bo Nelson (Cumb.), 3:26.

170 - Donny Pooler (15-3), first place: pinned Joe Carter (Sup.), 4:56; pinned Zachary Kubnick (Sp.), 3:52; def. Sam Peters (CWPF), 4-1.

182 - Andrew Hanson, third place: won by forfeit; lost to Sam Melton (Sp.), 6-5; def. Milan Monchilovich (Cumb.), MD 13-5; pinned Thomas Anderson (Bl./C), 5:40.

195 - Alex Goodlet (DNP): pinned by Justis Knutson (C-W-PF), 0:10; pinned by Gunnar Gronski (Sup.), 0:40.


220 - Isaiah Huray (DNP): lost to Mason Schelvan (A), 5-0; pinned by Bradley Sarauer (Bl/C), 2:42.

285 - Morgan Berggren (22-4), first place: pinned McCade Miller (Ba.), 0:55; pinned Hunter Lee (Cumb.), 2:23; def. Jacob Konvicka (CWPF), 9-2.

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