Four Ozaukee wrestlers take top CLC honors along with two for CG-Belgium
Forfeits derailed the Ozaukee wrestling team’s dream of winning a Central Lakeshore Conference championship last Saturday.
Unable to make up the points lost by not filling four weight classes, the Warriors had to settle for third-place honors in the five-team league finals at Cedar Grove-Belgium
Ozaukee scored 177 points, enough to defeat Elkhart Lake (115) and Cedar Grove-Belgium (106.5) but well behind the two front-running teams.
Oostburg finished with 233 points and edged Random Lake (216.5) in a battle for top honors.
Making up for Ozaukee’s failed pursuit of the team title were individual highlights. The Warriors emerged with four champions — Brady Watry (125 pounds), Alex Thill (130),
Pat Leonard (140) and Scott Watry (145).
Cedar Grove-Belgium was led by two champions, Zach Schulz (112) and Tyler Garcia (160).
Thill started the day as the tournament’s fourth seed in his weight class but turned in a stunning performance.
Thill, who improved his season record to 25-14, capped his run by pinning Oostburg’s Cody Klemme in 1 minute, 28 seconds. On the way to the final, Thill defeated Elkhart
Lake’s Luke Klotzbach, 6-5, and pinned Random Lake’s B.J. Decker in 44 seconds.
After Thill pinned Klemme, his teammates lifted him on their shoulders in triumph, indicative of the Warriors’ close-knit team.
“When he went out there and stuck Oostburg, the kids went nuts,” Ozaukee co-coach Luke Gundrum said.
“It was a big deal, a pretty neat experience. They take a big vested interest in each other’s successes and failures.”
And it was revenge.
“Thill lost to every one of the kids in his bracket earlier in the year. Then he comes through and beats ’em all to win it,” Gundrum said.
“He was probably the biggest story of the day for us.”
Scott Watry (32-10) outlasted Oostburg’s Lance Hacker, 6-4, in overtime to win the 145-pound title. The victory avenged a 6-3 loss to Hacker in a recent CLC dual meet.
On his way to the final, Watry pinned Tyler Jones of Elkhart Lake in 33 seconds and defeated Random Lake’s Lucas Schneider, 11-3.
“That one for me probably was the biggest deal just because he’s a senior,” Gundrum said of Watry. “It was good to see him get on that Wall of Fame.”
The Wall of Fame, which honors Ozaukee’s conference champions, is in the school’s wrestling room.
Brady Watry (30-11) dominated his weight class by scoring three pins. He defeated Elkhart Lake’s Adam Klotzbach in 2:59, needed 3:50 to defeat Lucas Alva of Cedar Grove-
Belgium and capped his day by pinning Oostburg’s Randy Theune in 1:01.
Leonard (28-8) also stormed through his weight class to secure top honors. He pinned Random Lake’s Andrew Gatz in 1:15 and Elkhart Lake’s Shane Schanke in 2:16 before
defeating Zach Lichucki of Oostburg, 7-3.
“Pat wrestled well. Lichucki is a pretty solid kid. It was a good match,” Gundrum said.
Ozaukee received second-placed finishes from Ian Hughes (103), Logan Smith (112), Ethan Brouillette (119) and Vince Cardarelle (152).
Hughes defeated Random Lake’s Mark Meyer in a dual meet this season, but Meyer won this time, 7-5.
“Every time those two kids meet, it’s going to be a close battle,” Gundrum said.
Cardarelle won twice before losing to Oostburg’s Lucas Copp, 10-1, in the final. Copp was a state qualifier last year.
“Overall, I think we definitely had a good tournament,” Gundrum said.
Cedar Grove-Belgium’s champions had to work hard for their gold medals.
Schulz, a sophomore, improved his season record to 28-7 by defeating Smith, 13-3, in the 112-pound final after winning three other matches.
Earlier, Schulz pinned Oostburg’s Dylan Jentink in 1:53, blanked Random Lake’s Tony Sanfelippo, 13-0, and pinned Elkhart Lake’s Neven Grigic in 1:17.
Garcia, a senior, won the 160-pound title by pinning Kyle Rentmeester of Elkhart Lake in 4:53 and improved to 24-2. On the way to the final, Garcia scored a 17-0 technical
fall over Random Lake’s Ben Bahr and pinned Oostburg’s Aaron Bruggink in 3:32.
Cedar Grove-Belgium got second-place finishes from Wayne Paulus (215) and Matt Mueller (285) and a third from Zach Peiffer (125).
Paulus, a senior, won three of four matches, with his only loss coming to Patrick Kissel of Oostburg, 6-0. In his closest match, Paulus edged Random Lake’s Mason Anklam,
3-1, in overtime.
Mueller, a sophomore, scored pins over Elkhart Lake’s Dylan Entringer (39 seconds) and Random Lake’s Joe Schneider (3:21) before being pinned by Oostburg’s Sam VanTatenhove in 2:55.
This Saturday, Ozaukee and Cedar Grove-Belgium will both participate in a WIAA Division 3 regional tournament at Random Lake.
Matches start at 10:30 a.m. The top two wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for sectional competition Feb. 20.
In addition, the regional team winner will advance to a team sectional meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, at Ozaukee.
CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM’S Tyler Garcia scored a technical fall over Ben Bahr of Random Lake on his way to the 160-pound title at Saturday’s Central Lakeshore Conference tournament. Photo by Sam Arendt