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Bracing for another title quest PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 17:24

Dieringer-led Pirates get ready for challenge in search of 9th straight NSC crown

With eight straight North Shore Conference team titles under their belts, members of the Port Washington wrestling squad should be hungry for a little competition this season.

If so, the Pirates probably won’t be disappointed.

“We’re expecting the conference to be a lot tougher than it has been in the past,” said Port coach Angelo LaRosa, whose team maintained its league streak by edging Germantown last season.

“Germantown will be strong, and most of the other teams have improved, so it should be a lot more interesting.”

The loss of three 2009 state qualifiers will also make the Pirates’ title defense more challenging. Tony Werner (130 pounds), Eric Croatt (135) and Andy Dieringer (145) all graduated after finishing in the top six at the WIAA Division 2 finals.

Even so, talent and numbers will again make Port a favorite.

“We have a lot of young guys but this year, more than ever, we will have a lot of depth,” said LaRosa, who enters his fourth season at the Pirates’ helm.

“We’ll be able to move guys around in different weight classes to get the match-ups we want. It will make us more balanced than in the past.”

The Pirates, who defeated Germantown, 36-31, in their closest conference dual meet last season, will again be led by Alex Dieringer. The junior is coming off a second-place state finish at 125 pounds after winning a state crown as a freshman and will be hungrier than ever, according to his coach.

“Alex is ready to go. He’s so advanced technically and much more physical than in the past,” LaRosa said.

“He’s one of the top high-school wrestlers in the country.”

Dieringer, who has an 83-3 career record, will probably start the season at 140 pounds before settling in at 135, LaRosa said.  

Port’s other returning state qualifier is junior Trevor Schumacher, who posted a 25-16 mark last season that included a third-place sectional finish at 140 pounds. He’s expected to contribute in the 140 to 152 weight classes.

“Trevor is really strong and athletic and has another year of experience, so we’re expecting great things from him,” LaRosa said.

“Our goal is to get him back to state on the medals stand this year.”

The Pirates have only four seniors on a roster of more than two dozen wrestlers. They are Nate Hilton (189/215), Ryan Wischer (160), Mike Hernandez (215) and Tim Montoya (285).

LaRosa expects contributions from all four seniors, singling out Wischer, who he said is probably the team’s most improved wrestler.

“I’ve never seen someone come so far,” LaRosa said. “He’s worked so hard, and it’s going to pay off for him.”

Port’s other juniors include Justin Meins (125/130), Jake Maechtle (135/140), Colin Baake (130/135), Dylan Coomer (130/135), Nate Flack (171/189) and Mark Strong (189/215).

Maechtle is poised for a breakthrough season after spending much of his freshman year at the junior-varsity level, LaRosa said.

Leading a contingent of talented Port sophomores are Adam Dreikosen (119), David Cornell (112), Andy McGee (125) and Bret Winker (160/171).

Dreikosen “is the best second-year wrestler I’ve ever seen,” LaRosa said. “He picks things up really fast.”

Bolstering the Pirates lineup will be a number of freshmen who excelled in the Piranhas youth wrestling program, including Jermaine Will (103), Jason Marhal (103), Eli Rosado (112), Tyler Madden (119/125), Nathan Schnell (119/125), Josh Meins (145/152) and Ryan
Stietz (152/160).

“Half of our team is freshmen, so we’re really young,” LaRosa said. “But they’re also very good, so it will help keep the program growing.”

The Pirates won’t have to wait long to have their mettle tested. They open the season Thursday, Dec. 3, with a 6:30 p.m. conference dual meet at Germantown.

“It’s going to be very big, our first real test, in our first meet,” LaRosa said.

On Saturday, Port will participate in the Spartan Duals at Luxemburg-Casco.


THE PORT WASHINGTON wrestling team’s hopes of successfully defending its North Shore Conference title and securing postseason honors will depend largely on strong performances from veteran members such as juniors Alex Dieringer (top) and Trevor Schumacher (bottom). Photo by Sam Arendt

 

 
Small numbers have Warriors turning to their veteran talent PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mitch Maersch   
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 17:23

With only 14 wrestlers, Ozaukee needs leadership from returning standouts

Numbers will not be on the side of the Ozaukee High School wrestling team this season, but that doesn’t mean the Warriors will be hurting for talent.

With only 14 wrestlers on his roster, coach Luke Gundrum will try to make the most of a small lineup led by several proven veterans.

“I obviously wish we had some more numbers here, but the kids we’ve got are about as good as I could have hoped for,” said Gundrum, who oversees the Ozaukee program with Jerry Hoffmann.

“They’re smart, intelligent kids. They catch on quick, and they’re fun to work with.”

Leading the Warriors is senior Pat Leonard, who qualified for the WIAA Division 3 state meet last season at 140 pounds. He finished with a 32-13 record as a junior and has a chance to do even better this season, according to Gundrum.

“Last year, Pat turned things around pretty good at the end of the season,” Gundrum said. “He made a great run to qualify.”

Leonard will start this season in the 145-pound weight class.

Ozaukee has two other wrestlers — juniors Brady Watry and Vince Cardarelle — who narrowly missed advancing to state last year after having strong sectional finishes.

Watry will start the season at 130 pounds. Cardarelle will wrestle at 152 or 160.

“Vince was actually a takedown away from being a state qualifier last year,” Gundrum said.

Other seniors Gundrum is counting on for leadership include Scott Watry (152) and Matt Stockwell (140).

Although his team lacks depth, Gundrum foresees good things in the future.

“We’ve got some good freshmen at the lighter weights to help us out,” he said. “We’ve got a decent size freshman class and a good eighth-grade class.”

Gundrum said he expects Random Lake to again be the class of the Central Lakeshore Conference, with Oostburg also challenging for the title.

He wants his team to be in the fight for second place.

“We’d like to get as close as we can to Oostburg, but we’ll probably finish third,” he said.

“We’ve been third for a while. It’s been hard to get past Oostburg and Random the last few years.”

The Warriors will open the season Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Early Bird Invitational in Watertown. Matches start at 10 a.m.

 
Close calls chill young Ice Hawks PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mitch Maersch   
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 16:04

Tight defeats underscore determined performances by hockey team in first two games

A young Ice Hawks hockey team opened the 2008-’09 season last weekend with two losses that were closer than the scoreboard showed.

The co-op squad — which has players from Grafton, Port Washington, Ozaukee and Milwaukee Lutheran high schools — lost, 4-2, on the road against Oshkosh on Saturday after falling to Homestead, 7-4, the previous night at the Ozaukee Ice Center in Mequon.

In each game, the Hawks gave up an empty-net goal after pulling their goaltender.

Against Oshkosh, the Ice Hawks grabbed an early lead but fell behind and couldn’t draw even despite a determined effort.

“We were down, 2-1, and had a goal called off,” Hawks coach Tony Rieck said.

“We came back and made it 3-2. It should have been tied, 3-3, and they pulled an empty-netter on us.”

Grafton/Port jumped in front on a goal by junior Travis Sette in the second minute. However, Oshkosh countered with two goals before the end of the opening period.

The home team stretched its lead to 3-1 after two periods before withstanding a late rally by the Hawks. Junior Tyler Sass scored their final goal.

“Their goaltender came up with some huge saves,” Rieck said.

The Hawks tried to battle back against Homestead, as well.

“We were down, 4-1, in the first period, and it was tough to dig our way out,” Rieck said. “Our kids played hard in the second and third periods.”

The Hawks cut their deficit to 5-4 in the final period before Homestead answered with two insurance scores.

“We need a lot of work in our defensive zone,” Rieck said.

Zach Wilson led the Hawks with two goals.

Goalie Chase Hollander had 23 saves for Grafton/Port.

Rieck is in his second year as coach of the Hawks, who are coming off the most successful season in team history. They finished 6-14-1 after posting a cumulative 5-55 record in their first six seasons before he arrived.

“I expect to be above .500 this year,” Rieck said of his young team, which has five seniors — Port’s Dillon Bares, Grafton’s Cody Patula, Anthony Schoenfeld and Zack Todd and Ozaukee’s Travis Sheperd.

The squad’s top juniors include Grafton’s Sette and Lutheran’s Sass, both forwards. Hollander is a sophomore who handled the net most of the time last year. 

The Hawks have some holes to fill after losing their leading scorer and best defenseman to graduation, but Rieck likes what he’s seen so far.

“We’re doing OK. We’ve got some good kids,” he said.

“We’ve got some kids who want to be there and get better. We’re going to continue to work hard and get better.”

The Hawks will return to action this weekend at the Ozaukee Ice Center, playing 7 p.m. games Friday against Kenosha and Saturday against Shawano.


SCOTT BENSON (right) of the Grafton/Port Washington hockey team battled a Homestead player for possession of the puck during the season opener for both squads last Friday at the Ozaukee Ice Center. Homestead pulled away to win, 7-4.  Photo by Sam Arendt

 

 
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