Tough tournament leaves young Port wrestlers trailing; Grafton takes 6th in Baraboo
By attracting some of the nation’s best teams each year, the Cheesehead Invitational has a well-earned reputation as a premier wrestling tournament.
It came as no surprise, then, that a young Port Washington squad had its hands full with the competition in Kaukauna on Jan. 6 and 7.TYLER BROWN (top) scored a pin in the 170-pound weight class for the Port Washington wrestling team in its win over Whitefish Bay. Photo by Sam Arendt
“Our guys had a few eye-opening experiences,” said Port coach Angelo LaRosa, whose wrestlers finished 23rd out of 24 teams.
“We don’t have the super studs this season, and we lost a lot of winnable matches or we could have been four or five places higher in the standings.”
The Pirates scored 149 points, finishing ahead of only Pewaukee (83). Perennial power Apple Valley of Minnesota won the team title with 565 points, four more than runner-up Bettendorf of Iowa.
At last year’s Cheesehead Invitational, Port finished 15th on the strength of an individual title by three-time state champion Alex Dieringer, who now wrestles at Oklahoma State University.
Last weekend, the Pirates’ top finish came from freshman Zach Smith, who placed eighth at 113 pounds.
After receiving a first-round bye, Smith won two matches, including a 13-4 major decision over Pewaukee’s Jason Berg. However, the competition got tougher. Smith lost twice and had to default his final two matches due to an injury.
“Zach wrestled very well, but he got hurt and had to sit out with a rib injury,” LaRosa said.
Placing ninth for Port was Tyler Griswold at 220 pounds.
The senior lost three times after a first-round bye but rebounded to win his last three matches. He capped the day by pinning Lockport’s Luis Montoya in 4 minutes, 33 seconds, in the ninth-place final.
“Tyler lost a couple of close matches the first day, but he battled back and had a strong finish,” LaRosa said.
Among other Pirates, Robby Anheier (120) and Quentin Lueck (145) placed 13th, Adam Dreikosen (152), Josh Meins (160) and Andy Fidler (285) took 14th, and Eli Rosado (126) was 16th.
Rosado won his first match and lost twice before being sidelined the rest of the tournament due to a concussion.
“We had a number of kids who wrestled well, but this tournament is so tough, they weren’t going to have high place finishes,” LaRosa said.
“It’s a learning process for our young team. We try to make sure they don’t get too high or too low.”
Port Washington 60, Whitefish Bay 6
The Pirates had no trouble winning a North Shore Conference meet at home Jan. 5.
Besides receiving several forfeits from a short-handed Bay team, Port got pins from Rosado (126), Dreikosen (152) and Tyler Brown (170).
The Pirates will return to the mats this Thursday when they host Germantown in another NCS meet at 6:30 p.m.
Hawks trail at Baraboo tournament
The Grafton wrestling team had several strong individual finishes but lacked the depth to stay near the top of the overall standings at the Thunderbird Classic in Baraboo last Saturday.
The Black Hawks scored 70 points, good for sixth place out of seven teams.
Hamilton won the meet with 182 points, and Middleton was second with 174.
Grafton was led by second-place finishes from sophomores Nick Bath (170) and Alex Marshall (182). The Hawks also got thirds from Billy Depies (152) and Sam Hoffman (160) and a fourth by Jake Brunnquell (120).
Bath (5-2) lost in the first round but bounced back to win three of his last four matches. He capped the day by pinning Johnson Creek’s Tim Jarog in 1:27.
Marshall (16-7) came out strong and pinned his first three opponents in addition to receiving a third-round bye. In the final, he lost to Baraboo’s Adair Ebright, 7-0.
Depies (14-9) split his first four matches before finishing the day with a 5-2 win over Baraboo’s Zach Henry.
Hoffman (11-10) lost two of his first three matches before receiving a bye and defeating Baraboo’s Eli Klemm, 5-1.
Grafton’s next meet will be Thursday, Jan. 19, when it travels to Milwaukee Lutheran for a 6:30 p.m. North Shore Conference dual meet.