Grafton grapplers making strides

Ozaukee also fights hard at Viking Scramble; Port looks to get healthy from injuries, Covid, ‘regular sick’
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Grafton High School’s wrestling team took another step in its development at the Viking Scramble at Valders on Saturday.

Ira Schlottke took second place at 145 pounds, and three Black Hawks finished third in helping score 78 points, good for seventh of 12 teams.

Winneconne won with 254 points. Neenah was second with 210, and Valders was third with 151.

“Every week we’re getting better and better trying to get our (peak) at regionals,” coach Andrew Wagner said.

Schlottke (11-14) was a highlight. He won a 15-10 decision over Jesse Skelton (3-2) of Neenah, pinned Allen Neang (2-9) of Green Bay West/East/Southwest in 3 minutes, 13 seconds and won a 2-0 decision over Easton Becker (12-11) of Manitowoc Lincoln.

In the finals, Schlottke lost an 8-2 decision to Joey Klemm (22-11) of Winneconne.

“He really stepped up. That’s probably some of the best wrestling I’ve seen from him all year,” Wagner said.

Nathan Krause at 220 pounds, John Olmr at 195 and Daniel Fandler at 152 finished third.

Krause (22-8) pinned two opponents in less than 35 seconds each before being pinned in 4:25 by Joseph Volz (28-6) of Campbellsport and losing a 5-1 decision to Caleb Letson (24-9) of Neenah.

In the third-place match, Krause pinned Desmond Walker (6-8) of Winneconne in 1:04.

His two losses, Wagner said, were to wrestlers ranked in Division 1 and 2.

In Fandler’s first wrestling of the season after recovering from an ankle injury, he was pinned, then pinned Landon Wolff (5-12) of Pardeeville in 45 seconds and won a 12-1 major decision over Dorian Gebert (8-10) on Sheboygan North.

He was pinned by Caleb Meunier (30-0) of Winneconne, and in the third-place match pinned Jaden Papenfus (15-12) of Plymouth in 23 seconds.

“I’m glad to see he did so well,” Wagner said.

Olmr (15-11) got pinned, then pinned Grady Klas (2-9) of Ozaukee in 1:16, was pinned by Dylan Krings (26-6) of Winneconne and pinned Kyle Murphy (9-16) of Campbellsport in 3:55.

Three Hawks — Ethan Timothy (1-13) at 106 pounds, Louis Berns (9-7) at 170 and Ben Birch (13-14) at 182 — finished fifth.

The team is dealing with some injuries and illnesses, but Wagner said his coaching philosophy has helped. He dials practice back to reduce the number of contacts and includes more stretching to help wrestlers recover faster.

The Hawks last Thursday lost to Hartford, 50-18.

Birch and Krause earned pins. Jackson Wojcik won an 8-1 decision over Kenny Kaiser, and Timothy beat Jaden Grandberry, 10-8.

The Hawks went 4-4 in matches wrestled but lost six forfeits.

“I’m proud of how we wrestled,” Wagner said. “We competed against a pretty solid program.”

Grafton was to wrestle at Port Washington on Wednesday and in a Homestead invite on Friday.

Cocanower finishes high for Ozaukee

Ozaukee scored 66 points at the Viking Scramble and tied for eighth place with Green Bay West/East/Southwest.

Blake Cocanower (12-13) had the best finish for the Warriors, taking fourth at 182 pounds.

He pinned Birch in 5:31, then was pinned by three opponents before pinning Hunter McGuire (4-13) of Pardeeville in 39 seconds.

Coach Cole Large also highlighted Efrain Altamirano’s effort at 126 pounds. After a sloppy, 16-11 loss to start the day, he pinned two opponents, lost a 6-4 decision and in the fifth-place match won a 9-3 decision over Dylan Bramstedt (14-11) of Valders.

“A switch kind of flipped and he has looked good in his last few matches. He picked up a lot of confidence as the day went on,” Large said.

Altamirano (4-6) was one of four Warriors to finish fifth. The others were Zach Bell at 220 pounds, Klas at 195 and Talan Dybul at 152.

Bell (11-11) lost an 8-6 decision and got pinned, then pinned Fontane Sifonte (0-9) of Green Bay West/East/Southwest in 1:53 and in the fifth-place match pinned Kayden Kish (8-15) of Valders in 2:21.

“Zach Bell had a pretty good day,” Large said.

Dybul (6-10), was pinned twice, once by two-time defending state champ Meunier in 2:31, before he pinned Landon Wolff (5-12) of Pardeeville in 39 seconds and in the fifth-place match won an 11-4 decision over Dorian Gebert (8-10) of Sheboygan North.

“Talan had a pretty good day in a very difficult bracket,” Large said.

Klas (2-9) was pinned in his four matches. Some of the weight classes were small due to injuries and illness, Large said.

He liked the effort of Joe Grabowski (7-15) at 145 pounds. He went 2-3 and finished seventh.

Jonny Melendez (6-14) at 170 pounds took sixth, as did Mya Delleree (12-13), the team’s only girl wrestler, at 113 pounds. She will compete at the girls’ state meet in La Crosse on Saturday, Jan. 29. She took second last season.

This year is the first in which the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is sanctioning the meet, Large said. The Wisconsin Wrestling Federation had done it in the past.

Delleree will still be able to wrestle with the Warriors in the Big East Conference meet but not in the regionals or beyond. The WIAA doesn’t allow wrestlers to compete in both the boys’ and girls’ state tournaments, Large said.

Port Washington handles NSC opponent

Port Washington beat Whitefish Bay/Dominican/University School of Milwaukee, 58-24, last Thursday at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.

“They have the biggest numbers they’ve had in a long time,” coach Angelo LaRosa said.

At 132 pounds, Nick  Gonzalez pinned Niko Marino in 1:47.

“Nick Gonzalez did a really nice job. He probably had his best week of practice last week,” LaRosa said.

Brady Krueger, Brandon Grabowski, Aiden Drotzur and Ever Armendariz all earned pins. Brodie Brecke won a 13-5 major decision.

LaRosa said the wrestlers have been working hard since the Bi-State meet in La Crosse a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s cool when you see them try things in matches they worked on in practice,” he said.

The team, however, is still trying to get healthy and reach the right weights.

“You name it. Injuries, Covid,” LaRosa said. “Regular sick is still a thing. I have a regular cold right now.”

Port was to host Grafton on Wednesday and compete at a Homestead invite on Friday.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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