Two Warriors, one Rocket secure mat championships in Central Lakeshore final
Ozaukee’s Cole Large and Kevin Beckmann and Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Greg Wenzel all ruled their weight classes at the Central Lakeshore Conference tournament last Saturday.
As expected, host Random Lake ran away with team title, but this week Ozaukee has an advantage. The Warriors will participate in a WIAA Division 3 regional at Dodgeland, while Random Lake will host its own regional.
Ozaukee coach Luke Gundrum said the scheduling puts his team in a position to win its first regional title since 2006, with Lomira providing the toughest challenge.
On Saturday, Random Lake had a wrestler reached the first final in all 14 weight classes and scored 277.5 points.
Ozaukee was a distant second with 183.5 points, followed by Oostburg (158), Cedar Grove-Belgium (115) and Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah (70).
Large (34-4), a senior who became Ozaukee’s career wins leader two weeks ago, cruised to the 132-pound title.
He defeated Random Lake’s Zac Stepniewski, 6-3, in the final after beating Oostburg’s Roman Katzer, 20-7, and pinning Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Sebastien Brock in 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
Beckmann (35-6) was equally impressive in taking the 160-pound title.
He scored a 15-0 technical fall over Random Lake’s Helton Vandenbush in the final after pinning Oostburg’s A.J. Robert in 5:11 and posting a 17-0 technical fall over Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Alex Claerbaut.
Wenzel continued his strong season by placing first at 182 pounds. The senior (29-5) defeated Random Lake’s Jess Verbanec, 6-3, for the title.
On the way to the final, Wenzel scored a 4-3 win over Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah’s Nick Miller; defeated Ozaukee’s Sam Schuette, 6-2; and pinned Oostburg’s Joe Meyer in 2:42.
“Greg wrestled well. I thought 182 was one of the best brackets of the tournament,” Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Trevor Peterson said. “He took one match at a time.”
Ozaukee got second-place finishes from Daniel Watry (106 pounds), Colton Kraus (126), Chase Brouillette (145), Adam Zichitella (152) and Taz Gottsacker (170).
Gundrum said he was impressed with Watry (19-4), a junior who came back from injury to score three pins before losing to Random Lake’s Josh Depies, 12-2, in the final.
Kraus (30-5), a senior, won three matches before losing to Random Lake’s Jon Mudlaff, 3-2, in the final. The two are 1-1 in two close matches this season.
Brouillette (17-19) won three matches before losing to Random Lake’s Jacob Behn, 5-0.
Zichitella (23-16) lost his first match but rebounded to win twice, including a 3:30 fall over Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Lucas Krier.
Gottsacker (25-10) won two matches before losing to Random Lake’s Adam Risse, 4-1.
Cedar Grove-Belgium got second-place finishes from sophomores Isaac Brockman (27-12) at 120 pounds and Daniel Gjertson (27-13) at 285.
Brockman won three matches before losing to Random Lake’s Brandon Depies, 3-0, in the title match.
“I thought Isaac wrestled a very, very good match,” Peterson said.
Gjertson scored two wins before being pinned by Random Lake’s Reed Anklam in 21 seconds. Anklam (35-5) is the state’s top-ranked Division 3 heavyweight.
This Saturday, Cedar Grove-Belgium will participate in the Random Lake Regional at 10 a.m. while Ozaukee wrestles in the Dodgeland Regional at 10:30 a.m.
The first-place squad will advance to a team sectional in Laconia on Feb. 18.
The top two wrestlers in each regional weight class will advance to an individual sectional at Cedar Grove-Belgium on Feb. 22.
Of the 28 wrestlers to advance in 14 weight classes, Gundrum said Ozaukee and Lomira may fill 25 of the spots. It will almost be a dual meet between the two teams, he said.
Should Ozaukee win, its next hurdle would be Random Lake, a state-ranked team that has proven it can handle the Warriors.
The Rockets will face a tough challenge Saturday with Random Lake, Mishicot and Kewaunee expected to lead the field.
“Anything can happen. I’m hoping a couple of other guys can sneak in and see what happens,” Peterson said.
Ozaukee 42, Oostburg 27
The host Warriors had five pins and won nine matches to prevail in a conference makeup meet Feb. 6.
Highlighting the Senior Night festivities were pins by Beckmann (160), Gottsacker (170), Watry (106), Jacob Wagner (120) and Large (132).
Winning by decision for Ozaukee were Sam Schuette (182), Kraus (126), Brouillette (145) and Colin Hughes (138).
Image Information: CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM’S Greg Wenzel pinned down top honors in the 182-pound weight class at the Central Lakeshore Conference tournament Saturday. Photo by Sam Arendt