Beckmann victory caps rally that gives Ozaukee sole possession of team title
The score stood at 37-35 in Ozaukee’s favor with one match to go and the tournament title on the line.
The Warrior wrestlers battled back from a 31-point deficit against Escanaba, Mich., at the Sheboygan Falls Duals last Saturday and didn’t want all their hard work to go for naught.
Their fate was in the hands of 145-pound freshman Kevin Beckmann. He came up big, scoring a 16-3 major decision and securing a 41-35 team win.
“It was as dramatic as it could be,” Ozaukee coach Luke Gundrum said.
And it was a step in the right direction for Beckmann, who finished 4-1 for the day.
“Kevin’s not quite there yet. He’s got quite a bit to learn,” Gundrum said. “He’s a pretty good athlete. He works pretty hard.”
But so far, Beckmann is clutch. He also pinned his Sheboygan Falls’ opponent in a 45-32 team victory.
The Escanaba meet tested the Warriors’ resolve, and their win avoided a three-way tie for the tournament title. Ozaukee finished first in the six-team competition with a 5-0 record.
“It was fun,” Gundrum said. “I don’t know if it could be any more dramatic than it was.”
In other dual meets, the Warriors defeated Racine St. Catherine’s (66-18), South Milwaukee (42-31) and Nicolet (70-12).
Going 5-0 in the tournament for Ozaukee were Cole Large (103 pounds), Ian Hughes (125) and Brady Watry (135).
Besides Beckmann, the Warriors got 4-1 efforts from Taz Gottsacker (112), Logan Smith (119), Ethan Brouillette (130), Alex Thill (140) and Vince Cardarelle (152).
Alex Burmesch went 3-2 at 285.
The tournament championship gives the Warriors momentum heading into a key road test at 7 p.m. this Thursday against Oostburg, the defending Central Lakeshore Conference champion.
“That’s going to be a very close dual meet,” Gundrum said.
On Saturday, Ozaukee will participate in the Green Bay Preble Scramble.
Ozaukee 46, Milwaukee Riverside 30
The Warriors scored seven pins in a nonconference road win Dec. 9.
Winning by fall were Brouillette (125), Watry (140), Beckmann (145), Cardarelle (160), Large (103), Gottsacker (112) and Smith (119).
Hughes won by major decision, defeating Darryl Guentner, 20-11.
Random Lake 54, CG-Belgium 19
The score of the Rockets’ road loss to powerhouse Random Lake wasn’t indicative of how close the Central Lakeshore Conference meet was, according to Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Trevor Peterson.
“We were in probably five matches that ended up all of a sudden in pins,” he said. “I think we gave them 20-some points that could have gone our way.”
At 171, the Rockets’ Tyler Garcia pinned Ben Bahr in 2:31 for his 101st career victory. By the end of the season, Peterson expects Garcia to be in the school’s top five for all-time wins.
A key match came at heavyweight, where two state-ranked wrestlers squared off. Cedar Grove-Belgium junior Matt Mueller was pinned by Reed Anklam in 3:30.
Mueller was leading, 7-2, when he got caught in a throw that led to a fall.
“Matt’s not very happy about it. He was in control of the match the whole time,” Peterson said.
The Rockets got a pin from Matt Krier (215), who defeated Chris Lewis in 1:59.
Their other victories came from Hunter Buechler (189), who defeated Joey Schanen, 14-3, and Zach Schulz (125), who blanked Tony Sanfelippo, 6-0.
In one of the night’s closest matches, Random Lake’s Brady Schmidt (135) edged Zach Peiffer, 9-6. Peterson said Schmidt was bleeding at one point and both wrestlers needed time to get cleaned up.
The Rockets gave up three forfeits and were pinned five times.
“It kind of hurt my guys. I had them pumped up all week that we could do real well against Random Lake and give them a run for their money,” Peterson said.
Cedar Grove-Belgium was scheduled to participate in the Oshkosh Lourdes Invitational last Saturday, but the tournament was cancelled due to inclement weather.
The Rockets will host Elkhart Lake in another CLC meet at 7 p.m. Thursday and wrestle in the Kewaunee Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday.