Dieringerâs runner-up finish leads Pirate wrestlers at Kaukauna meet showcasing some of nationâs bestA 20th-place finish in a 25-team tournament may not seem like much to write home about.
But Port Washington wrestling coach Angelo LaRosa was hardly upset about his squadâs showing at last Saturdayâs Cheesehead Invitational in Kaukauna.
âThat tournament is just one of the toughest tournaments in the country,â said LaRosa, whose Pirates trailed most of the field but more than held their own in a competition that featured an array of nationally ranked teams and wrestlers.
âWe had six wrestlers place (in the top 16) last year, and this year we had nine place, so we did really well.
âThis is by far the best tournament we will be in all year. Itâs 10 times tougher than the state meet.â
As expected, Port was led by junior Alex Dieringer, who finished second in the 135-pound weight class.
After receiving a first-round bye, Dieringer won six straight matches, including a 4-2 decision over previously undefeated Brandon Kinsley of Apple Valley, Minn., in the semifinals.
In the championship match, Dieringer battled Arrowheadâs Jake Suelfohn before losing, 10-6. The showdown was a rematch of the tournamentâs third-place final last year, when Dieringer won by major decision.
âIt was a great match between two of the top kids in the country,â LaRosa said.
âAlex wrestled well until it was 6-6. Then he got caught on his back, and Suelfohn got some late points. Jakeâs very good and seems to get stronger as his matches go on.â
The loss left Dieringer with an 18-1 season record. Suelfohn improved to 22-1.
LaRosa singled out Dieringerâs win over the highly regarded Kinsley as âthe best match Iâve seen Alex wrestle.â
Kinsley, a defending state champion in Minnesota, went 44-0 last year with 40 pins, LaRosa said.
Port scored 183.5 team points in the tournament, which was won by Apple Valley with 710.5.
Brandon, Fla., placed second with 671.5 points. Wyoming Seminary of Kingston, Pa., took third with 585 points, and Montini, Ill., was fourth with 512.5.
The best finish by a Wisconsin team came from Kaukauna, which was eighth with 294 points.
The Piratesâ other top-16 individual finishes in the tournament included 10ths by Justin Meins (125) and Trevor Schumacher (145); a 13th by Josh Meins (152);
15ths by Jake Maechtle (140), Ryan Wischer (160) and Mark Strong (189); and 16ths by Bret Winker (171) and Adam Dreikosen (119).
Justin Meins, a junior, posted a 4-3 record that included a 3-2 loss to Christ Divito of Montini in the ninth-place final.
After going 2-2 in his first four matches, Meins rebounded with two wins in the consolation round, including a 9-7 victory over Jordan Seidl of Luxemburg-Casco in
Schumacher, a junior, also went 4-3, including a loss by pin to DeForestâs Steve Hoffman in the ninth-place final. Schumacherâs wins included a 6-2 decision over
Pewaukeeâs Mike Dusel in the consolation semifinals.
âThis was the best Iâve ever seen Justin and Trevor wrestle,â LaRosa said. âThey both did outstanding jobs.â
Portâs other individual finishes included a 19th by Eli Rosado (142), 20th by Jermaine Will (103), 23rd by Tyler Griswald (285), 24th by Nate Schnell (130) and 25th by Nate Flack (215).
The Pirates will return to the mat Thursday when they travel to Milwaukee Lutheran for a North Shore Conference dual meet at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Port will participate in the Burlington Invitational at 10 a.m.
Schweitzer leads Black Hawks
Brandon Schweitzerâs second-place finish carried the load for the Grafton wrestling team at the On the Water Classic in Oshkosh on Dec. 29 and 30.
The senior posted a 5-1 record in the 215-pound weight class, with his lone defeat coming in the championship match.
Schweitzer, who improved his season record to 10-2, battled Yusef Hassan of Burnsville, Minn., before losing, 3-0.
Schweitzer scored 42 of the Black Hawksâ 57 points, which gave them a share of 45th place in the 58-team tournament.
Coleman won the title with 326.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Hortonvilleâs 271.
âBrandon did an outstanding job and had a great tournament,â Grafton coach Mike Dodge said.
âLast year, he won the title at the same meet. This year, he became the first Grafton wrestler to get to the finals in consecutive years.â
On his way to the final, Schweitzer received a first-round bye, scored three straight pins and defeated Random Lakeâs Mason Anklam, 8-5, in the semifinals.
Schweitzer made quick work of his other opponents, pinning Three Lakesâ Emerson Hegeman in 16 seconds, Markesanâs Dakota Roeder in 52 seconds and Tyler
Kubler of Eden Prairie, Minn., in 2:44.
No other Grafton wrestlers placed in the tournament. Juniors Matt Sieracki (160) and Cody Bobholz (140) had the Hawksâ second-best finishes by posting 2-2
Sieracki opened with a 6-4 win over Kewaskumâs Derek Aupperle but then lost to Hortonvilleâs Nick Lecher, 5-0. In the consolation bracket, Sieracki pinned Wabenoâs Jeremy Norris in 2:35 before losing to Tomahawkâs Isaac Silvernale, 3-1.
Bobholz got both of his wins on forfeits. His defeats included a 15-0 technical fall against Peshtigoâs Mitch Johnson in the third round of the consolation bracket.
Nick Goetz (145) also represented the Hawks in the tournament. After being pinned in the first round, he won by forfeit and lost to Slingerâs Owen Ciriacks, 5-3, in
a second-round consolation match.
Grafton will travel to Whitefish Bay for a North Shore Conference dual meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and wrestle in the Baraboo Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday.