In its final preparation for the conference tournament and the WIAA postseason, the Lodi prep wrestling team faced another ranked opponent last Friday. The Blue Devils made the trip to Fennimore to face the second-ranked team in Division 3.

The Blue Devils trailed from start to finish in a 48-24 loss to Golden Eagles.

“Kudos to Fennimore for having a great dual atmosphere,” Lodi coach Cody Endres said. “They had the gym sectioned off, bleachers pulled up right to the mat and the band playing the entire time. It was the way a high school wrestling dual should be. In the years to come, we want that kind of atmosphere at our home duals.”

Fennimore won the first three matches of the night to take a 15-0 lead.

Golden Eagle 106-pounder Brett Birchman opened the dual with a 5-1 decision over Parker Heintz, while 113-pounder Brecken Muench pinned Owen Breunig in 3 minutes, 58 seconds. 120-pounder Jayden Glasbrenner closed the opening run with a fall in 1:34 against Levi Ness.

Lodi’s first win came at 126, as Chandler Curtis won by injury default over Brody Lee.

Fennimore followed with consecutive pins by 132-pounder Alex Birchman, 138-pounder Aidan Nutter and 145-pounder Mason Lull. Birchman recorded a fall in 1:41 against Dean Finney, Nutter pinned Ashton McDonald in 2:49 and Lull struck Evan Stevenson in 55 seconds.

The Blue Devils got back in the dual with wins by 152-pounder Colton Nicolay, 160-pounder Jack Hansen, 170-pounder Sawyer Helmbrecht and 182-pounder Ben Simplot. The run cut the deficit to 33-24.

Nicolay pinned Kaden Han in 46 seconds, while Hansen edged Nick Blaschke 5-4. Helmbrecht took care of Logan Miles 6-1, while Simplot pinned Chase Hestetune.

“I thought our seniors went out and wrestled well,” Endres. “Jack Hansen had a really nice come from behind win that’ll give him a lot of momentum moving forward. Seniors Colton Nicolay and Ben Simplot got pins, and Sawyer Helmbrecht dominated his match.”

However, the Golden Eagles closed the dual with wins by 195-pounder Will Ahnen, 220-pounder Aaron Ragels and heavyweight Logan Klaas.

Ahnen pinned Noah Johnson in 51 seconds, while Ragels struck Bryce James in 5:14. Klaas closed the dual with a 5-2 win over Wyatt Ripp.

The Blue Devils will attempt to defend their Capitol Conference title at the conference tournament in Belleville on Saturday.

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