Tenth consecutive NSC title among many goals for talent-laden wrestling squad
Each year, the Port Washington High School wrestling squad has another tough act to follow: itself.
With nine consecutive North Shore Conference team titles, a two-time state individual champion and numerous other honors on their resumé, the Pirates enter the 2010-11 season with typically high expectations.
And they should be equal to the challenge again.
“We have a lot of young guys, but they’re very seasoned wrestlers,” said Port coach Angelo LaRosa, whose team has a blend of standout seniors and budding underclassmen.
“A lot of them have wrestled throughout the spring and summer, so they’re more experienced, even as freshmen and sophomores.”
Topping the list is senior Alex Dieringer, the country’s top-ranked 145-pound wrestler in his age group. Dieringer, who won the Division 1 state title at
140 pounds, has accepted a wrestling scholarship from Oklahoma State University and is a heavy favorite to win his third state crown.
“Alex really wants to finish his high school career with another title,” LaRosa said.
The Pirates’ other veteran seniors include Justin Meins (130/135 pounds) Jake Maechtle (135/140), Nate Flack (189/215), Trevor Schumacher (145/152) and Mark Strong (189).
Meins placed fourth at state at 125 pounds last season, and Schumacher qualified for state as a sophomore.
“They both have a lot of incentive to get back there,” LaRosa said.
Bolstering Port’s roster are juniors Tyler Griswald (215), Bret Winker (171), David Cornell (130), Adam Dreikosen (130) and Andy McGee (125/130) and sophomores Eli Rosado (103), Tyler Madden (130), Nate Schnell (135/140), Josh Meins (160), Ryan Stietz (189) and Tyler Brown (160).
LaRosa is also counting on contributions from freshmen such as Noah Rosado (103), Calvin Harbaugh (112), Brandon Willms (152/160) and Andy Fidler (heavyweight).
Based on numbers and talent, the Pirates are loaded again at the middle weights.
“We have a logjam at some weights, especially 135 and 140,” LaRosa said. “But that’s good because the competition should bring out the best in our wrestlers.”
LaRosa said Dieringer and many of his other wrestlers will be used at a variety of weights depending on what team Port faces.
“With Alex, we’re going to move him around to take on the other teams’ top guys,” he said. “Whatever is best for our team.”
The versatility, talent and experience on the Pirates’ roster included 10 wrestlers who were members of this year’s Wisconsin national team.
“This was the best off-season we’ve ever had,” LaRosa said. “Having so many wrestlers working hard to get ready definitely benefits us.
“We feel like we can just pick up from last year.”
Port’s quest for mat supremacy begins this week with three challenging meets. After facing Random Lake in a nonconference test Tuesday, the Pirates will host Germantown in their NSC opener at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, Port will participate in the Spartan Duals at Luxemburg-Casco.
Thursday’s meet will be a showdown with the conference team that has the best shot at dethroning the Pirates.
“Germantown has a very good team. I think it will be tight,” LaRosa said.
NATHAN SCHNELL held the upper hand against Tyler Madden as the two worked on moves during a recent Port Washington High School wrestling practice. The sophomores are two of many standouts on a team favored to win its 10th straight North Shore Conference title this season. Photo by Sam Arendt