Joshua Goldberg and Nick Neumann represented the Cretin-Derham Hall wrestling team at the MSHSL State Championships this year. Joshua qualified at 170 pounds by winning the section title, while Nick Neumann took runner-up honors at heavyweight.
Josh entered the tournament as the #7 seed. He is the first Raider to earn a seed at State, due to being a section champion and a returning state entrant. In the preliminary round he scored an early takedown and used two hip tilts to rack up an 8-0 lead over an unseeded wrestler from Willmar. The third time was the charm as Josh used another hip tilt to stack his opponent on his shoulders and earn the victory by fall just after the 1-minute mark in the first period. Josh’s pin was the first by a Raider in the State Tournament in over a decade!
A tough loss in the quarterfinals to the #2 seed from St. Francis, who went on to place 5th, sent Josh to the consolation round late on Friday evening. He battled through a re-aggravated shoulder injury and gave it everything he had, but came up just a little short in close decision loss to Maple Grove.
Nick went into the tournament as an unseeded wrestler, despite being a state entrant two years ago – missing his entire junior season due to a knee injury in football. The seeding criteria only include current season and last year’s post-season. Ironically, Nick was randomly drawn to face the #2 seed from Willmar, the same opponent he faced in the first round of the 2015 State Tournament when both wrestlers were sophomores.
The first time around Willmar won by pin, but Nick showed his significant improvement by keeping it close this year, losing by decision and nearly having a chance to pull off the upset with a takedown in the third period. Willmar went on to place 3rd, and Nick waited for his consolation bout late on Friday evening.
Nick’s next opponent was also a rematch. Lakeville North had pinned Nick in a back-and-forth match in January. An early takedown looked promising, but the lead wouldn’t hold up. Nick nearly scored a late escape to tie the match, but ran out of time as he was eliminated from the tournament.
This is the fourth year in a row that the Raiders have been represented in the MSHSL State Tournament. The only other time in school history that the Raiders have been at State four consecutive years was from 1976 to 1979. Nick and Joshua also join an elite group of Raiders who are multiple-time State Entrants. Larry Nava (’01) and Andy Braun (’95) were two-time qualifiers, and Matt Caron (’79) was a three-time qualifier. No Raider has ever placed in the MSHSL State Tournament. Several wrestlers won enough matches to qualify for the consolation semifinals, but they didn’t wrestle 5th place matches in those years.