The Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestling team placed ninth of 12 teams at Ellsworth's 54th Annual Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 2, but head coach Bill Hofacker said his young wrestlers have nothing to hang their heads about.
After Saturday's invite, Hofacker told his team not to worry about the day's results.
"Most of them didn't have records from last year so they were matched with the first or second seeds right away," Hofacker said. "It's just a tough way to start the season, and a very tough tournament."
One of the Cardinals' few varsity returners, Carter Merth, finished in seventh place in his weight class after getting pinned by Danny Schroeder of Mora in the first round, and losing to Ellsworth's Dalton George in the next round. Merth pinned Ethan Luksich of Prescott in the seventh place match.
Merth was up 9-0 against Schroeder to start the day, but was pinned at 4:50 after getting caught in a throw and failing to roll through it.
"He wasn't very happy," Hofacker said of Merth. "He should never have gotten caught in it, but he bounced back."
Merth was disappointed with his Saturday performance, but Hofacker said, "he'll be alright."
Nick Hofacker finished in fourth, SVE's highest finish, in the 182-pound weight class, which coach Hofacker considered to be a "loaded class."
"I thought he did pretty well," Hofacker said of his son, Nick.
The senior wrestler was pinned by Ty Sanford of Prescott in the third-place match after getting caught flat-footed.
"You can't make those kind of mistakes against those high-caliber wrestlers," coach Hofacker said.
Hofacker earned a fourth-place finish after pinning Max Anderson in the first round (1:36), getting pinned by Jake Rau of Medford (3:06), and ultimately losing to Sanford by a fall at 4:42.
SVE continues their season on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Wisconsin Dells Invite, another tournament where the rookie Cardinals will be challenged with tough competition.
"They did alright; they did fine," Hofacker said of his wrestlers. "Things are going in the right direction. We just have to keep working on what we've been working on."
SVE INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
120: Seventh place: Brayden Wolf
138: Seventh place: Clayton Neisinger
152: Sixth place: Santana Schlegel
160: Fifth place: Kenny Fesenmaier
170: Seventh place: Carter Merth
182: Seventh place: Jaydon Nyeggen
195: Fourth place: Nick Hofacker