Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 15:18
Port wrestler solidifies standing among elite by securing junior freestyle title in impressive fashion
The most decorated wrestler in Port Washington High School history has solidified his standing among the country’s young elite in his sport.
Alex Dieringer, who will be a senior this fall, not only pinned down first-place honors in the USA Wrestling Junior Nationals freestyle tournament in Fargo, N.D., on July 24, he did so in dominant fashion.
On his way to the 145-pound title as a member of the Wisconsin state team, Dieringer posted an 11-0 record in the three-day competition, including a 6-4, 1-2, 6-5 win over Dylan Ness of Minnesota in the final.
Dieringer also placed third in the same weight class in the Junior Greco-Roman Nationals several days earlier. Only a narrow loss in the semifinals kept him from coming home a double champion.
“It’s great. It’s awesome,” Dieringer said of his freestyle crown.
“It wasn’t an easy tournament because you had to wrestle a lot of matches in three days against tough competition. Every single kid there was not bad at all.”
High-profile meets are nothing new to Dieringer, who has won two WIAA state titles as well as numerous honors in out-of-state tournaments and is being recruited by a dozen Division I college programs. But his victory over Ness cemented his reputation as a premier high school athlete and made him the only Wisconsin wrestler to win a Junior Nationals title this year.
There were more than 90 wrestlers in Dieringer’s weight class.
“It’s the toughest tournament in the country, and Alex cleaned up,” said Angelo LaRosa, Dieringer’s high school coach who also served as nationals coach for Wisconsin Cadet wrestlers.
“This was the biggest title he has won yet. It’s a great accomplishment.”
The junior division is open to high school wrestlers ages 19 and younger. Dieringer moved to that group after winning 130-pound freestyle and 135-pound Greco-Roman national titles in the cadet division last year.
Dieringer was one of 10 Port Washington wrestlers on the Wisconsin team, most of whom participated in the cadet division in their first national meet.
He cruised through his first 10 matches before being pressed to the limit in a best-of-three-periods title match. Ness was a familiar foe for Dieringer, who defeated him to win a folkstyle title but lost to him at the Freestyle Junior Duals in June.
Ness, who won the Minnesota state title last season as a senior at Bloomington Kennedy High School, “is a pretty tough wrestler,” Dieringer said.
“But this time, I was really ready,” he added. “I wrestled all month to prepare for the Junior Nationals, and it paid off.”
Despite his impressive showing, Dieringer said he didn’t expect to win a title at the junior level.
“I thought it would be nearly impossible because I moved up a weight class and was in it for the first time,” he said. “But I just went out there and wrestled my style.”
Besides mental and physical toughness, Dieringer attributed his success to his “left-handed style, which most wrestlers aren’t used to.”
With another prestigious title under his belt, Dieringer is attracting more looks than ever from college recruiters. He said he’s open to all offers and will “take a few more visits and consider what’s out there.”
However, Dieringer also said his top four choices are Wisconsin, Central Michigan, Missouri and Arizona State.
“I really like Wisconsin. That’s probably at the top of the list right now,” he added, noting that longtime friend and wrestling rival Jesse Thielke of Germantown is headed to Madison.
Dieringer wants to make a choice by September, putting the decision-making process behind him well before his final season at Port High.
No other Port wrestler placed in last month’s national tournament, but LaRosa said each gained valuable experience, including qualifying for the team by participating in a July camp.
They included junior division wrestlers Justin Meins (130 pounds) and Tyler Griswold (215) and cadet division wrestlers Josh Meins (152), Eli Rosado (125), David Cornell (125), Adam Dreikosen (130), Nathan Schnell (130), Tyler Madden (125) and Tyler Brown (160).
THE MOST DECORATED wrestler in Port High history, Alex Dieringer (front) added another trophy to his collection by winning first place in the USA Wrestling Junior Nationals freestyle tournament in Fargo, N.D., last month. Other Port High wrestlers who participated in the tournament included (second row, from left) Tyler Griswold, Tyler Madden, (back row) Nate Schnell, Josh Meins and Eli Rosado. Photo by Sam Arendt
Written by Mark Jaeger
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 15:12
Win over second-place Saukville gives Cedarburg a rare 18-0 season, eliminates need for divisional playoffs
The Cedarburg Mercs capped a perfect regular season in Land O’ Lakes Northern Division baseball last Saturday, and in doing so removed any suspense about the upcoming playoffs.
The Mercs topped the Saukville Saints, 10-1, on the strength of a five-run fourth inning. The key hit in the uprising was a three-run double by Ross Zahour.
The Saints’ lone run was a solo homer by Joel Zalewski in the third inning. That round-tripper tied the score at 1, but Saukville failed to tally for the rest of the contest.
John Vandenberg, John Regnitz and Joe Daniels keyed the offense for the Mercs, with three hits apiece.
Despite the defeat, the Saints managed to hold on to second place in the division with a record of 11-7. That was one game better than the third-place Port Washington Lakers, which finished in a tie with the Thiensville-Mequon Twins.
With its 18-0 season record, Cedarburg became just the fourth undefeated regular season champion in the 73 years of Northern Division play.
Previous undefeated teams included Saukville in 1958, West Bend in 1965 and Cedarburg in 1967.
According to league rules, the Mercs’ perfect regular season means there will be no divisional playoffs. Cedarburg will automatically represent the Northern Division in the Land O’ Lakes
Grand Championship playoffs.
League championship play is scheduled to begin Saturday, Aug. 28.
Results of other local division games last week follow.
Thiensville-Mequon 14, Port Washington 9
The Port Washington Lakers lost an early lead, and ultimately the ball game, on the home field in Saturday’s battle against the Thiensville-Mequon Twins. The final score was 14-9.
Both teams scored five runs in the opening inning, but the Lakers grabbed a two-run lead with single runs in the second and third innings. Port tacked on a single run in the sixth.
The Twins, however, scored twice in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a commanding 11-8 lead.
Thiensville-Mequon added three more runs in the final three frames to secure a third-place tie with the Lakers in the final standings. Both teams finished the season 10-8.
Port’s offensive star was Justin Behm, who hit a three-run homer in the first inning. Nick Heiting also had three hits.
Mitch Huffman and Casey Barnes each had three hits for the Twins.
Grafton 9, West Bend Benders 2
The Grafton Express broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to defeat the West Bend Benders, 9-2, on Saturday.
The offensive surge was highlighted by back-to-back triples by Jordan Clark and Dustin Kesner. Mickey Pruefer’s infield grounder scored the fourth run of the inning.
Clark and Kesner each had three hits for Grafton, while E.J. Sexton and Pete White had two hits apiece for West Bend.
Port Washington 9, Grafton 4
The Port Washington Lakers topped the Grafton Express 9-4 on Aug. 4.
After spotting Grafton a third-inning run on Mike Pruefer’s triple, Port answered with six runs in the fourth inning and three more in the following frame.
Several errors helped fuel the scoring binge.
In the Port fourth, runs scored on an infield grounders by Jon Deboer, Nick Heiting and Tom Lorenzen. Chris Laurishke added a two-run single, and the sixth run of the inning came home on a wild pitch.
In the fifth, the Lakers’ Lorenzen and Heiting each had run-scoring singles. Ed Kozlowski added an RBI sacrifice fly.
Grafton scored three times in the sixth inning on singles by Cory Stark and Pat Weber, and an infield grounder by Mike Walter.
Kyle Kichura led the Lakers offense with two hits. Stark collected four hits for the Express.
Thiensville-Mequon 4, Saukville 2
The host Twins broke a 1-1 tie by scoring four times in the eighth inning to key a 4-2 win over the Saukville Saints on Aug. 4.
Brady Bingham and Casey Barnes hit run-scoring singles in the eighth-inning turnaround, and Ryan Fletcher had a run-scoring double.
Thiensville-Mequon opened the scoring in the third inning on Ryan Finnerty’s grounder.
Saukville tied the game in the seventh when Tony Wheaton’s infield grounder was thrown away.
The Saints added another run in the ninth on a throwing error, but stranded the tying runs in scoring position.
Winning Twins pitcher Mitch Huffman scattered just two hits and struck out 16 batters.
CEDARBURG’S JOHN VANDENBERG slid into home to score a run in the Mercs’ 10-1 victory over the Saukville Saints last weekend. The win gave Cedarburg a perfect 18-0 season. Saukville finished the year in second place, followed by the Port Washington Lakers and Mequon-Thiensville Twins, which tied for third. Photo by Sam Arendt