Before the match even began, Tomahawk avoided some of their tough matchups and forfeited to Jacob DeMeyer at 145, Alec Kurtz at 195, and Colton Krueger at heavyweight. While Rhinelander's two forfeits of the night came at 106 to Austin Snow, where they pushed freshman Isabella Anderson up to 113 to battle Morgan Waye and forfeited at 138 due to Alec Modrow being injured.
The Rhinelander High School wrestling team would go on to earn a 50-30 Great Northern Conference win at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The Hodags still jumped out early to a large lead after starting with DeMeyer's forfeit win. After Kyle Kuester was pinned by Wyatt Wenninger of Tomahawk with just 10 seconds remaining in the final period.
But from there it was the Hodags who flexed and would rally for four straight match wins to establish a comfortable lead and never looked back. At 160, Eric Grulke earned a 16-4 major decision win over Gunnar Millard. And at 170, Scott Fox pinned Tony Matti late in the second period. And at 182, Alec Bess stuck Jacob Matti in 1:15. With the forfeit win for Kurtz, the Hodags held a 28-6 advantage.
At 220 Chase Redmond was pinned by Zach Stefanich of the Hatchets with only nine seconds remaining in the final period. And after back-to-back split forfeits at 285 and 106, it set up the shown down between Anderson and Waye at 113, which proved to be the turning point of the match.
Coming back after being down 2-0 after the first two periods, and Waye controlling a majority of the time, both wrestlers started the third on the feet. But that wouldn't last long, and only 20 seconds into the final period, Anderson had an impressive move to put Waye into a headlock, and pinned her for a huge Hodag win. And what was even more impressive was the freshman had only been wrestling for just over a month.
With momentum, high for Rhinelander, Reuben Guzik followed with a pin over Lance Knight of the Hatchets in just 24 seconds at 120 to seal the deal and clench the dual.
But the Hodags didn't stop there, although the dual was already determined, Tyler Olson at 126 earned a major decision win after. And in the final contested match of the night at 132, Robert Kintop was pinned.
Early in the season, it was a great GNC victory against Rhinelander's top rival, Tomahawk who split the conference title last season with the Hodags.
Although a fourth GNC title is the goal, the RHS wrestling team knows the season is young and there are plenty of quality opponents they will have to take care in the conference.
Rhinelander will travel to Shawano on Saturday for an invitational and will resume GNC duals after the holiday break on January, 5th when they host Lakeland.