Prairie du Chien grapplers at Bi-State

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Prairie du Chien wrestlers who placed at the Bi-State Classic: Rhett Koenig (first), Luke Kramer (ninth), Ryder Koenig (eighth), Brogan Brewer (eighth), and Blake Thiry (10th).

Rhett Koenig secures a takedown in the quarterfinals against his opponent from Tomah. Koenig would go on to win by fall in this match on his way to a Bi-State title.

The 39th Annual Bi-State Classic, hosted by Holmen High School, was held on Dec. 29-30 at the La Crosse Center. After a one-year hiatus due to Covid-19, wrestlers and wrestling fans were more than excited for the great atmosphere and excellent wrestling this tournament brings every year. 

There were 71 teams competing, grouped together no matter the school size, in the ever tough tournament representing both Wisconsin and Minnesota High Schools. A few quick tidbits about just how stacked this tournament is: 61 wrestlers were in their state tournaments last year, (both of which had pared back events),  50 wrestlers were state medalists, 6 wrestlers were state champions, 195 wrestlers are ranked in their respective states, 20 teams are ranked in their respective states/divisions.

Prairie du Chien was led by five medalists, which would result in a fifth-place team finish in Division 2 with 161.5 points. Luxemburg-Casco would win with 227 points. That total would also place PDC 15th overall amongst all 71 teams. 

Rhett Koenig, junior, would lead the way with a first-place finish at 132#. Koenig would knock off five opponents in a row (fall, technical fall, technical fall, fall, major decision) before meeting Andrew Weiss from Holmen in the finals. Koenig would control the pace from the get go, using a take him down, cut him game plan. Koenig scored four takedowns and an escape en route to a 9-4 decision. In doing so, Koenig becomes just the fourth PDC wrestler all-time to win a Bi-State Championship, joining Tyler Hannah (2019), Taylor Elliott (2012, 2013) and Mike Lenzendorf (2004). After placing third as a freshman, Koenig now has two Bi-State medals. 

At 126#, Ryder Koenig, junior, would win three matches before being beaten in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion. Koenig would battle back on the consolation side and earn an eighth-place finish. 

At 170#, Brogan Brewer, junior, would be defeated in the round of 16 before rattling off three wins in a row on the consolation side to come back and earn an eighth-place finish. 

At 145#, Luke Kramer, junior, would get upended in the second round. However, Kramer would battle back with six wins on the consolation side to earn a ninth-place finish. Kramer also placed as a freshman and is now a two-time medalist. 

At 182#, Blake Thiry, freshman, would win three matches before being beaten in the quarterfinals. Thiry would then go to work on the consolation side and finish with a 10th-place medal. 

Also representing PDC at Bi-State were: Mason Baumgartner (113#): 2-2, Drake Ingham (120#) 3-2, Drew Hird (138#) 2-2, Jeremiah Avery (152#) 4-2, Cole Halverson (160#) 1-2, Jack MacEachern (220#) 0-2, Dylan Wright (285#) 0-2.

Next up for the Hawks is an SWC dual at Lancaster on Thursday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 8, the grapplers will travel to Merrill for the Bluejay Challenge.

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