Pirates take team title in Pewaukee, advance 10 to individual sectional meet
The battle for WIAA mat supremacy officially began last weekend — and the Port Washington Pirates staked an early claim as a team to beat.
Coach Angelo LaRosa’s squad won a Division 2 regional title at Pewaukee on Saturday, earning a berth in this week’s team sectionals and advancing 10 wrestlers in individual competition.
Winning eight weight classes, Port scored 269 points and outlasted runner-up Pewaukee (237) in a battle for top honors.
Kewaskum was third with 166 points, followed by Wisconsin Lutheran (163), Milwaukee Lutheran (98) and a scoreless Milwaukee North team.
“It was a good start for us, but it was also very tough,” said LaRosa, whose squad won a regional team title for the first time since 2007.
“We lost a couple of close matches, or we could have had a few more kids advance.”
With their regional crown, the Pirates advanced to team competition at the Whitewater Sectional on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Port defeated Campbellsport, 48-15, in thesemifinals but lost to Delavan-Darien, 31-29, in the final.
Winning individual regional titles for Port were Noah Rosado (106 pounds), Zach Smith (113), Nathan Schnell (138), Jordan Dieringer (152), Adam Dreikosen (160), Josh Meins (170), Tyler Griswold (220) and Andy Fidler (285).
Each won two matches after receiving a first-round bye. Rosado, Meins and Fidler had two pins apiece.
Also advancing to the sectional level with second-place finishes for the Pirates were Robby Anheier (126) and Ryan Steitz (195).
Rosado, a sophomore, improved his season record to 32-4 by pinning Pewaukee’s Isaac Lodise in 4 minutes, 38 seconds, and Wisconsin Lutheran’s Jacob Roecker in 1:01.
Meins (30-11), a junior, pinned Milwaukee Lutheran’s Shane McGaffick in 1:16 and Pewaukee’s Brandon Baradic in 3:51.
Fidler (26-16), a sophomore, needed just 47 seconds to defeat Wisconsin Lutheran’s Chris Haferman and pinned Milwaukee Lutheran’s Will Turner in 3:00.
Among Port’s other wrestlers, Quentin Lueck (145) and Tyler Brown (182) placed third, and Calvin Harbaugh (120) and Tyler Madden (132) took fourth.
Harbaugh’s season ended when he sustained a broken collarbone in his first match.
“It’s always difficult in Division 2 regionals because there are only five or six teams and some of them are really good,” LaRosa said.
“We had most of our guys get through, but we lost a tough one in Calvin, who will be hard to replace.”
Following Tuesday’s team competition, Port wrestlers will go after honors in an individual sectional meet at Wisconsin Lutheran at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.
The top three finishers in each weight class will advance to the state individual tournament Feb. 23 to 25 at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“I feel good about our chances,” LaRosa said. “We should get a lot of guys through.
“Across the board, we’ve got a lot of good kids who have worked hard and should do very well.”
Black Hawks advance in Division 1
Four Grafton wrestlers earned sectional berths with top-four finishes in a Division 1 regional tournament at Sussex Hamilton last Saturday.
Moving on to the next level with third-place performances were junior Justin Rapp (170) and sophomore Alex Marshall (182). Junior Billy Depies (145) and sophomore Ian Olivas (220) qualified by taking fourths.
“This was a pretty tough regional, and our guys battled all day to get the finishes they had,” Grafton coach Mike Dodge said.
Rapp (22-8) won two of three matches, including an 8-6 decision over Menomonee Falls’ Bill Steinke in the third-place final. Rapp’s only setback was a 9-6 loss to Homestead’s Nick Pierret.
“Rapp wrestled great, but I think like the other three guys, we have a few things to clean up if we want to get to state,” Dodge said. “I don’t think he’s wrestled his best tournament yet.”
Marshall (24-10) won twice by pin, including a 1:03 fall over Cedarburg’s Tyler Watson in the third-place final. In the semifinals, Marshall was pinned by Arrowhead’s Danny Schnick.
Depies had a 2-2 regional record, and Olivas was 3-1, including a 12-11 win over Menomonee Falls’s Mike Schwahn in the fourth-place final.
In the regional team standings, Grafton placed last out of eight squads with 56 points. Arrowhead won the meet with 254 points.
Grafton’s four qualifiers will take aim at state berths in a sectional tournament at Arrowhead on Saturday, Feb. 18. The top two finishers in each weight class will advance to the state level Feb. 23 to 25 in Madison.
“Sectionals is going to be tough, and I think we might be the underdogs,” Dodge said. “I also think that each one of these guys is capable of pulling off an upset.”
Image Information: SOPHOMORE NOAH ROSADO (right) was one of 10 Port Washington wrestlers who advanced to WIAA Division 2 individual sectional competition by placing first or second at the Pewaukee Regional. Port also won the regional team title. Photo by Sam Arendt