With a strong returning cast the Redwood-River Valley Badgers should be in a great position to compete for the Section 3AA title during the 2018-19 campaign.
A season ago the Badgers had a nice regular season, earning 18 dual meet victories and upsetting Montevideo UNITED 40-28 in the Section 3AA tournament before falling to eventual Section champion Fairmont/MCW 54-18.
The Red Bulls went 27-1 overall, reaching the Class AA state title match before losing 49-9 to Kasson-Mantorville. While the Red Bulls will be a tough out in the Section, Head Coach Paul Carlson believes the Badgers have a chance to compete for the title.
“We graduated only two wrestlers from our team last year, so our goal is to contend for the Section title,” he said. “Last year we made it to the final four and this year the goal is to reach the Section finals.”
Leading the way for the Badgers is junior Kaleb Haase who returns after a sophomore campaign that saw him go 41-9 and earn a fifth-place finish at 220 pounds at state. An off season of training, including freestyle wrestling and a strong season of football should have Haase in the conversation to compete for a state title as he enters the season ranked number one.
Fellow junior Chad Maddock is also back after qualifying for state as a heavyweight a season ago. Maddock earned 32 wins and will enter the season ranked fifth in the state.
Senior Tayte Harazin is back with a mission to get to state in his final go-around. The talented 152/160 pounder went 41-8 a season ago, finishing third at Sections in a tough weight class. With more than 100 career victories, look for Harazin – ranked sixth at 152 – to be a leader and put together a strong senior campaign.
Junior Owen Bertram is battling injury but will hold down the spot at 126 pounds. A season ago Bertram finished with 29 wins and a fourth-place finish at Sections.
Junior Mason Rummel is back after finishing third at Sections a season ago and will be the starting 182 pounder and senior James Ploeger will start at 195 pounds. Junior Andy Fischer is back after a fifth-place finish at Sections a season ago and will open the year at 170 pounds.
The Badgers have a logjam of quality wrestlers at 132 and 138 that include senior Omar Arredondo (90 career wins, 24 a season ago), Jaxon Lang, Matt Zeug, Andrew Manko and freshman Maverick Goblirsch (16 varsity wins, fourth-place finish at Sections).
At 145-152, the Badgers return sophomores Brayden Reynolds, Kadin Johnson and Joe Anderson along with Ashtin Johnson. Aidan Cavanaugh and Ethan Langseth will provide depth at 160, and Tim Rogotzke, Ashton Danielson and Austin Schumacher will provide depth at 220 and heavyweight.
In the lower weights – 106, 113, 120 –the Badgers have some good young talent that includes: Carter Brandt, Damico Arredondo, Austin and Lincoln Ourada, Wyatt Schmidt, Nathan Reller, Aidan Koplin and Gavin Brandt.
The Badgers open up the season Nov. 30 at the BBE invitational and will host TMB/WWG Dec. 4.