SENIOR VINCE CARDARELLE (right) won the 152-pound title and was one of seven Ozaukee wrestlers who qualified for the WIAA Division 3 state individual tournament with strong performances at the Cedar Grove-Belgium Sectional last Saturday.
Photo by Sam Arendt
Seven Ozaukee wrestlers advance in Div. 3 tournament; Garcia leads CG-Belgium trio
Ozaukee’s Brady Watry lost his first match at 135 pounds in last Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 wrestling sectional at Cedar Grove-Belgium and thought his high school career was over.
The winner of that match, Horicon’s Ben Dickenson, had to win his next match for Watry (37-11) to stay alive in the tournament. But Dickenson was facing Oakfield’s Robert Easterson, and things weren’t looking good.
Dickenson had beaten Watry, 6-3, and Ozaukee coach Luke Gundrum said his senior was a little nervous.
“Brady thought things were over,” Gundrum said. “It was pretty emotional. He’s a great kid, a hard-working kid and qualified (for state) last year.”
Somehow the stars were aligned. Dickenson pulled off a 6-2 win over Easterson that kept Watry’s season alive.
Watry responded by winning his next two matches, rallying to pin Kenosha St. Joseph’s Zack Fisher in 2 minutes, 45 seconds of the third-place final. That allowed Watry to become one of seven Ozaukee wrestlers who advanced to this week’s state individual tournament in Madison.
The list of local Division 3 qualifiers also includes three Cedar Grove-Belgium wrestlers.
For Ozaukee, Watry’s day was a microcosm of the sectional tournament for Ozaukee. The Warriors won most of their close matches and kept Gundrum from losing his wits.
“That was a very emotional day, a roller coaster,” he said.
Other Ozaukee wrestlers headed to Madison include three champions, sophomores Logan Smith (119 pounds) and Ethan Brouillette (130) and senior Vince Cardarelle (152); a runner-up in sophomore Ian Hughes (125); and third-place finishers in freshmen Cole Large (103) and Taz Gottsacker (112).
“I think we wrestled well all the way through. You don’t have too many days like that,” Gundrum said.
Seven wrestlers is the most Ozaukee has set to state since 2002.
Cardarelle (39-11) won twice and then edged Oostburg’s Lance Hacker, 2-0, in double overtime for the title. He avenged a loss to Hacker in the regional tournament.
“That was a big deal, especially losing to the kid the week before,” Gundrum said.
Smith (25-20) rolled through the sectional with three pins, including a 5:15 fall over Oshkosh Lourdes’ Shaun Dowling in the final.
“He’s just starting to put things together at the right time here,” Gundrum said of Smith.
Brouillette (32-8) won by a technical fall and decision before defeating Kenosha St. Joseph’s Jared Francois, 12-6, in the title match.
Hughes (39-9) won twice by decision and then lost by injury default to Princeton’s Jacob Schweder (27-2).
Gottsacker (27-15) overcame a semifinal loss to defeat Erik Cedarquist of Winnebago Lutheran, 5-4, in the third-place final.
“The kid was coming at him pretty good, and he fought him off pretty well,” Gundrum said of Gottsacker. “That showed some pretty good poise for a freshman.”
Large (33-13) lost his first match, won by decision in the consolation semifinals and defeated Laconia’s Quinn Lasecki in the third-place match. In a wrestleback for second place, Large lost to Random Lake’s Brandon Depies, 8-1.
“Getting those two freshmen down there is a big deal. Now they get to experience the Kohl Center,” Gundrum said.
At 140 pounds, Ozaukee’s Alex Thill (22-15) won his first match by forfeit but was then pinned twice. At 145, teammate Kevin Beckmann (24-21) lost by technical fall and was pinned.
Rockets send trio to Madison
All three of Cedar Grove-Belgium’s sectional competitors advanced to the state level, led by 160-pound champion Tyler Garcia (37-1).
He will be joined by Zach Schulz (119) and Matt Mueller (285).
Garcia, a senior, scored a 16-0 technical fall over Andrew Seibel of Winnebago Lutheran Academy, pinned Nick Bruley of Johnson Creek in 4:34 and pinned Markesan’s Nick Martinez in 2:40.
“Tyler wrestled tough. He’s wrestling great right now,” Rockets coach Trevor Peterson said.
Mueller (30-7) placed second. The senior won twice by pin before losing, 8-4, to Random Lake’s Reed Anklam. In the second-place final, Mueller pinned Montello’s Jacob Deskins in 5:42.
It was the third straight week Mueller lost to Anklam, who defeated him in the Central Lakeshore Conference meet and at the regionals.
“I don’t think Matt wrestled Reed the best match he can yet,” Peterson said.
Schulz (35-10) won by pin in the quarterfinals but lost by decision in the semifinals. He then defeated Myles Walker of Catholic Central, 4-1, and pinned St. Joseph’s Nick Bolander in 53 seconds.
“Zach wrestled real well in his last two matches. It worked out pretty decent,” Peterson said.
Garcia, a senior who reached the 100-wins career milestone this season, will be one of the favorites to win a state title this weekend. He received a first-round bye and will face either Ladysmith’s Mike Niles (27-7) or New Lisbon’s Joe Baumgart (19-3)
in the quarterfinals.
Garcia’s only loss of the season, a 6-4 decision, came against Iowa-Grant’s Logan Bollant on Dec. 30 in the Mid-States Wrestling Classic in Whitewater. Bollant (37-4) also qualified for state and if he and Garcia both advance far enough, a rematch
would be set in the semifinals.
Dieringer, two other Port wrestlers win sectional titles on way to Div. 1 state meet; Van Langen also qualifies
There’s a championship feel for the Port Washington Pirates as they head for this week’s WIAA Division 1 state individual wrestling tournament in Madison.
Coach Angelo La Rosa’s team will be represented by three seniors, each of whom is coming off a first-place performance at the Fond du Lac Sectional last Saturday — Alex Dieringer (142 pounds), Jake Maechtle (135) and Justin Meins (125).
Also joining the local contingent in the Division 1 meet will be a Grafton wrestler, senior Michael Van Langen, who earned his first state trip by placing second at 112 pounds in the West Allis Central Sectional.
The top two finishers in each weight class at Division 1 sectionals advance to the state level.
Heading the list of area qualifiers is Dieringer, who is seeking his third state championship. He made quick work of the sectional field, scoring three pins in as many matches, including a 26-second fall over Hartford’s Casey Kenealy in the final, and
improving his season record to 40-0.
Kenealy was no slouch, entering the first-place showdown with a 39-8 record, but was no match for Dieringer, a wrestler on a mission.
“Alex just took him down and pinned him,” La Rosa said. “He’s wrestling at a different level than everyone else, like he has all season.”
None of Dieringer’s opponents have been able to go the distance against him since the Cheesehead Invitational in Kaukauna on Dec. 30 and 31.
“His goal is to pin all 10 guys to win the state title — three in the regional, three in the sectional and four at state,” La Rosa said. “He wants to go out in style.”
Before facing Kenealy, Dieringer scored two other first-period pins. He defeated Oshkosh North’s Daniel Rothe in 1:52 in the quarterfinals and took care of West Bend West’s Nick Gronski in 1:11 in the semifinals.
Dieringer will be making his fourth straight state appearance. He won titles at 103 pounds in 2008 and 140 in 2010 and finished second at 125 in 2009.
Maechtle (29-8) earned his first state trip with three impressive match wins, including an 11-6 decision over Kaukauna’s Cory Held in the final.
After pinning Slinger’s Chad Strupp in 1:48 in the first round, Maechtle pinned Neenah’s Andy Sheppard in 1:46 in the semifinals.
“Jake’s wrestling the best he’s ever wrestled in his whole career,” La Rosa said. “He looks great.”
Meins (36-4) had to work a little harder than his teammates but secured his second state trip with three sectional wins, including an 8-1 victory over Neenah’s Alex Kueck in the title match.
After pinning Beaver Dam’s Bryan Buhalog in 3:56 in the quarterfinals, Meins advanced to the final with a 3-1 win over Nate Hennes of Hartford.
“Justin had a tough match with the Hartford wrestler, who’s pretty good,” La Rosa said. “But he rose to the occasion and got the job done.”
Meins will be aiming to improve on his fourth-place finish at 125 pounds last year.
Van Langen, a senior, led a contingent of four Grafton wrestlers who reached the sectional level. In improving his season record to 29-4, he went 2-1 Saturday, losing only to Nicolet’s Chris Morrell, 7-2, in the final.
Van Langen opened with a 1:24 pin over West Allis Hale’s Trevor Kruzick and defeated West Allis Central’s Mark Choinski, 7-2, in the semifinals.
Port sent 10 wrestlers to the sectional meet, including two — freshman Calvin Harbaugh (112) and sophomore Josh Meins (171) — whose third-place finishes fell one place shy of qualifying for state.
Harbaugh (34-10) won his first match by pin before being pinned in the semifinals. He then defeated West Bend West’s Tswryim Lor, 8-5, in the third-place match and had a chance to place second in a wrestleback. However, a hand injury forced
Harbaugh to default to Kaukauna’s Austin Heitpas.
Josh Meins (30-14) scored a quarterfinal pin before losing, 5-4, to Fond du Lac’s Luke Roffers in the semifinals. Meins then won the third-place match by pinning Hartford’s Mason Baumgartner in 3:37 but was unable to participate in a wrestleback
because of his loss to Roffers.
Among Port’s other sectional qualifiers, the Rosado brothers — Noah (103) and Eli (119) — each placed fourth. Losing in the first round were Adam Dreikosen (130), Nate Schnell (140) and Tyler Griswold (285).
Grafton’s only other place finisher in the West Allis Central Sectional was senior Matt Sieracki, who took third at 160 pounds. Sieracki (33-13) rebounded from a semifinal loss to defeat Menomonee Falls’ Justin Bayer, 7-3, in the third-place match but
was edged in the second-place wrestleback, 6-3, by Arrowhead’s Mitchell Anderson.
Grafton’s other sectional qualifiers — Jacob Brunnquell (119), Alex Marshall (145), Justin Rapp (171) and Eric Moegenburg (215) — each lost in the quarterfinals. Moegenburg had the closest match, losing to West Allis Central’s Angel Orozco, 6-5.
Although no team honors are awarded at individual sectional tournaments, Port fared well in the standings, placing second with 93 points. The Pirates trailed only Hartford, which had 101 points, out of 16 teams with wrestlers at the meet.
Grafton had 22 points and was 10th out of 14 teams in its sectional. Host Central topped the field with 142.5 points.