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No Alex, but Pirates still flex mat muscle PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 17:24

Loss of Dieringer, other standouts shouldn’t keep wrestlers from shining again


It’s no secret where the mat spotlight has been focused the last four years for the Port Washington Pirates.

Alex Dieringer, a nationally ranked, three-time WIAA champion and the winningest wrestler in Port High School history, garnered the lion’s share of attention before enrolling at Oklahoma State University on scholarship this fall.THERE’S PLENTY of talent and experience on the Port Washington High School wrestling team this season. The Pirates’ varsity veterans include (front row, from left) Brandon Moeller, Robby Anheier, Calvin Harbaugh, Noah Rosado, Eli Rosado, Josh Meins, (back row) Quentin Lueck, Tyler Madden, Tyler Brown, Bret Winker, Andy Fidler, Ryan Stietz, Adam Dreikosen, Tyler Griswald and Nate Schnell.                                                            Photo by Sam Arendt

The graduation of the 145-pound state champ and other standouts such as state qualifiers Justin Meins (125) and Jake Maechtle (135) has thinned the Pirates’ wrestling cupboard, but not left it bare.

“We lost Alex, Justin and Jake and several other wrestlers. You can’t replace the No. 1 guy in the nation, but we’ve got some good ones back,” Port coach Angelo LaRosa said.

“We’re really young, but most of them are very experienced wrestlers for their age.”

Numbers are also no problem for the Pirates, who have more than 30 wrestlers vying for spots in the varsity lineup.

Port, which has won 10 consecutive North Shore Conference team titles, should have no trouble putting talent in all 14 weight classes.

Leading the Pirates’ veteran contingent are seven wrestlers who reached the sectional level last season. The list with their qualifying weights includes seniors Adam Dreikosen (130) and Tyler Griswald (285), juniors Eli Rosado (119), Nate Schnell (140) and Josh Meins (171) and sophomores Noah Rosado (103) and Calvin Harbaugh (112).

Most are expected to move up to slightly higher weights this season. Two notable exceptions, LaRosa said, are Griswald and Meins, who are probably headed for 220 and 160, respectively.

“We’re looking for a huge season from the guys coming back,” LaRosa said. “They’ve worked really hard in the off-season.”

Last season, Meins had a 28-13 record, Schnell was 25-12 and Eli Rosado was 23-15. 

LaRosa is also counting on big things from wrestlers such as senior Bret Winker (170), junior Ryan Stietz (195), sophomores Andy Fidler (285) and Robby Anheier (120) and freshmen Jordan Dieringer (152) and Zach Smith (113).

“I think we’ll be very strong from 106 to 152. Our first seven or eight guys are really tough,” LaRosa said.

“Our biggest numbers are at 132 to 152. We have a lot of guys who are at 140-ish.”

Other wrestlers vying for spots in the lineup include juniors Tyler Madden (138) and Tyler Brown (182) and sophomores  Brandon Moeller (138) and Quentin Lueck (145).

Having dominated conference competition for years, the Pirates have turned their focus on higher-profile meets in recent seasons.

Topping their list of weekend tournaments again will be the Cheesehead Invitational, which brings nationally ranked teams and individuals to Kaukauna in January.

The experience his top wrestlers received in national competition during the off-season is also invaluable, LaRosa noted.

“We had nine or 10 guys go to Fargo (N.D.) this year,” he said. “They know what it takes to reach their full potential.”

Not surprisingly, the Pirates will waste no time facing tough opposition. They will open the season Friday, Dec. 2, at a 5 p.m. quadrangular meet in Hartford that includes perennial powers Arrowhead, West Allis Central and the host team.

The next day, Port travels to Luxemburg-Casco for a 9 a.m. invitational featuring a strong field.

“Our guys are hungry and want to face the best,” LaRosa said. “We have 10 guys who want to be the next Alex.”

Bolstering the Pirates’ arsenal this season is a new assistant coach. Matt Zwaschka, a former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater wrestler and assistant coach, has joined LaRosa’s staff.

Zwaschka teaches physical education at Port High.

Although the Pirates will be the heavy favorite to win another conference championship this season, LaRosa said he expects competition from Germantown, Homestead and Whitefish Bay.

Port’s first home meet will be Dec. 8 when it faces Homestead at 6:30 p.m.

 
Restocking is first order for Rocket girls PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 17:21

Graduation losses open door for new standouts on CG-Belgium basketball team


What’s a basketball coach to do when his team loses 70% of its scoring and rebounding to graduation?

If you’re Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Josh Ketterhagen, you turn to a youth movement with an eye on continued improvement.AMONG THE varsity veterans who will help lead the Cedar Grove-Belgium girls’ basketball team this season are (from left) Danielle De Haai, Alyssa Schmitt, Ashley Weavers and Alyssa Sauer.           Photo by Sam Arendt

“We’ll be a small, inexperienced team, but we’re going to get better. I think this is an enthusiastic group that works hard.”

Cedar Grove-Belgium’s biggest graduation losses were all-conference players Abi von Heimburg and Steph Ruppel, who received first and second-team honors, respectively, last season. They combined to score nearly 25 points per game.

That’s not to say the revamped Rockets are without talent. They still have veteran players such as senior Briana Weavers and  juniors Alyssa Sauer, Alyssa Schmitt and
Ashley Weavers.

Briana Weavers, a 5-foot-8 forward, averaged four points per game last season and “will give us good post experience,” Ketterhagen said. 

The 5-4 Sauer, who averaged 6.5 points last season, is being counted on to handle the point position. Schmitt (5-6) will contribute as a swing player, and Ashley Weavers (5-8) is a good shooter who will bolster the front line.

Ketterhagen believes Sauer has the skills to be a solid floor general.

“She knows the offense well and can shoot and pass,” he said. “What we’re looking for her to do is step up and be more of a vocal leader.”

Schmitt “is a strong player who has a good shot and can also play inside,” according to Ketterhagen.

Cedar Grove-Belgium has two other seniors with limited experience — Danielle De Haai and Aylin Birlik.

The rest of the Rockets’ roster includes players making their varsity debuts. Among them is 5-6 freshman Ashley von Heimburg, Abi’s sister, who Ketterhagen said should get regular minutes.

Ketterhagen respects his team’s work ethic but realizes the Rockets will often be the underdogs when they take the court.

“We will be young and vertically challenged,” he said. “But this a group of girls who are learning fast.”

Ketterhagen sees defending champion Oostburg as the team to beat again in this year’s CLC race, with Howards Grove a close second.

He expects his team to fight for one of the next three spots in the standings along with Sheboygan Lutheran, Random Lake and Elkhart Lake.

Cedar Grove-Belgium opened the season this week with a nonconference game against University School on Tuesday.

The Rockets will start CLC play with 7:30 p.m. games Thursday at Sheboygan Christian and Dec. 6 at home against Random Lake.

 
Conference kudos for heavy hitters PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 18:03

After dominating CLC, Giles-led Rockets clean up in coaches’ all-league voting


On the way to their third Central Lakeshore Conference football title in the last four years, the Cedar Grove-Belgium Rockets dominated opponents week after week this fall.

Not surprisingly, they also dominated the all-conference awards.Alex Giles

Coach Chris Zablocki’s squad had 10 players receive first-team honors in the coaches’ voting, five each on offensive and defensive units.

The sharpest gear in the Rockets’ high-powered machine was tailback Alex Giles, the only junior named to the first-team offense. Overall, he rushed for a school-record 2,221 yards (9.6 per carry) and 36 touchdowns on a 12-1 team that reached the WIAA Division 5 state semifinals.

In conference play, the 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound Giles had 1,119 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, averaging 12 yards per carry. He also caught two touchdown passes.

Giles was one of seven unanimous selections in the All-CLC balloting.

“Alex had a great year, and what’s really great is that he is also very unselfish,” Zablocki said.

“He’s not tall, but he’s very strong, very thick for 175 pounds. With his quickness, people couldn’t get a clean shot at him.”

Cedar Grove-Belgium’s other first-team honorees on offense include interior linemen Brandon Miles, Robby Loose and Zach Feind and place-kicker Josh Ruppel.

The linemen were the workhorses of the Rockets’ relentless ground attack, each excelling as blockers. Seniors Miles (6-1, 190), Loose (5-10, 210) and Feind (5-9, 275) formed the core of a reliable battering ram that allowed their team to control the clock as well as the scoreboard.

Miles staked his claim as one of the area’s top offensive lineman before sustaining a season-ending injury late in the year.

“We have been fortunate to have some great offensive lines here, and this one was one of our best,” Zablocki said. “All three of them worked very hard in the off-season to get stronger and faster.”

Matching Giles’ prolific conference rushing numbers was Ozaukee back Devon Linzenmeyer, another unanimous first-team choice.

The senior led the league with 1,281 rushing yards and had 16 touchdowns. His overall numbers were 2,188 yards on the ground and 30 touchdowns, including a 447-yard effort against North Fond du Lac on Sept. 9.

Linzenmeyer finished his three-year career with 4,146 rushing yards and 57 touchdowns, both school records. This season, he also handled quarterback duties at times in the Warriors’ option offense.

“Devon was such a leader all year for us, but the real thing about him wasn’t told in the statistics,” Ozaukee coach Jim Lippe said.

“He worked hard all the time. Whenever we ran sprints in practice, he always finished first.”

 
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