The Rhinelander High School wrestling team kicked off their 2018-2019 season with a 42-22 road victory at Crandon under first-year head Coach Nathan Piasecki.
The Hodags and Cardinals had three double forfeits on the night and RHS would go on to win three of the six contested matches on the night, all by pin. Crandon earned two pins and a major decision and Rhinelander took a forfeit loss at 138 pounds.
Rhinelander's Tim Fox, who qualified for sectionals last season would pin Crandon sophomore Huston Kane in just 34 seconds in the 113-pound match. Freshman Gavin Ostermann also made his varsity debut picking up a win over Bradley Shepherd at 152-pounds.
The Hodags also got a varsity debut win from first-time wrestlers, Alex Olson. In the heavyweight match Olson held a 7-2 lead over Crandon sophomore Nick Adamski before getting him in a headlock and recording the pin at 2:46.
Also first-time wrestler Hugh Wiese came up short in his varsity debut at the 120 bout and fell in a major decision to freshman Renn Marvin. Wiese started strong in the first period and held a 7-5 lead but Marvin would take the lead in the second and never looked back. Wiese kept within four points with just under a minute left in the match at 15-11. But Marvin had a reversal and five back points to pull ahead 22-11 for the major decision win.
In the opening match of the night, Jesse Mahner fell to Crandon's Breed Shepard, who qualified for the WIAA Division 3 state touranment last season. Shepard stopped Mahner at 1:28 in the 182-pound bout. And Trevor Schunk of the Cardinals added another win after pinning Will Swanson in the second-period. Carter Bissonette had a forfeit win for Crandon at 138.
Walker Hartman (160), Eric Grulke (170), Ben Sinclair (195), and Trevor Knapp (220) would all earn forfeit wins for Rhinelander on the night.
Despite the holes they have in their varsity lineup early in the season, Rhinelander picked up an early non-conference win to start the year. The Hodags will be back in action on Saturday when they compete in an invite at Wausau West.