Wrestling: Chargers take control of CWC

Witt-Birn edges Bonduel in dual
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

WITTENBERG — The Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School wrestling team earned a 39-36 dual win over Bonduel on Thursday, taking control of the Central Wisconsin Conference in the process.

Thursday’s matchup had all the makings of a classic, with both teams boasting perfect conference dual records coming in. Despite Witt-Birn only winning one of the six non-forfeited weight classes, it was enough to edge Bonduel.

“I told the boys, ‘This could be for the conference title.’ We do host a multi-dual next Saturday and there’s a couple teams we can’t look past but like I told them, ‘If we can beat Bonduel, we have a good chance at beating most of the teams in the conference,’” said Witt-Birn coach Troy Ostrowski. “We just keep getting better every week. We haven’t won anything yet. We beat a good team but haven’t won anything yet.

The host’s lone non-forfeit came from Will Urquhart in the 160-pound weight class. The senior claimed a 4-0 decision win over Bonduel senior Moises Lagunes.

After a scoreless first period, Urquhart pulled a reversal to take a 2-0 lead. Urquhart then took down Lagunes in the third period to seal up his win.

“I knew I had to go out big and go win it for the team. If I won for the team, I knew we’d have probably the best chance to win conference so I had to put it all on the line,” said Urquhart. “I had to take him down and dominate the whole match and I think I dominated the whole match because he didn’t score.”

After Bonduel won the first three weight classes of the night to go up 15-0, senior Allen Uttecht (285) and sophomores Damien Wudtke (106) and Pierson Potrykus (113) all won by forfeit to put the hosts up 18-15.

The Bears took the lead again after a pin, but the Chargers pulled back ahead after earning forfeit wins at 126 and 132 pounds. Junior Austin Worzalla won at 126, while senior Chad Moegenburg earned the win at 132.

Bonduel responded with wins in the next two weight classes to tie things up, but Witt-Birn junior Wyatt Esker was awarded a forfeit win at 152 to make it 36-30 and give Urquhart a chance to seal a victory.

Working with only eight wrestlers, Bonduel coach Chris Rank was pleased with how his guys battled despite the long odds.

“It was a great dual,” said Rank. “We did some things that I don’t normally do — I don’t like forfeiting to some of their better wrestlers but with the type of dual meet this was and what was on the line, I was trying to go into the conference tournament with a title.

“I was trying to slow down momentum and take the crowd out of it. We knew the eight guys we were putting out on the mat probably needed to win, and we just came up short.”

The night started at 182 pounds, with Bonduel junior Kaden Bergsbaken taking on Witt-Birn sophomore Kyle Linke.

Bergsbaken took down Linke in the opening period and took that 2-0 lead into the second. Bergsbaken was able to finish off a pin at the 2:40 mark of the match.

Bonduel junior Isaac Banker and Witt-Birn freshman David Gauderman then took the mat for the 195 class.

After a scoreless first period, Banker pulled a reversal early in the second and took that lead into the final period. Banker got a takedown to go up 4-0, but Gauderman pulled a reversal of his own, then got a stall point to trim the deficit to one. Banker was able to hang on for the 4-3 decision win.

Bonduel senior Alex Garside was awarded a forfeit win at 220 to give the team its 15-0 lead.

The Bears next win came in the 120 weight class by freshman Tyson Bogacz. Witt-Birn junior Dakotah Olson had a 2-0 lead going into the second period, but Bogacz was able to finish off a pin in 2:24 to get his team six points.

Bonduel junior Jayson Toellner and Witt-Birn junior Bryce Zoromski took part in one of the tighter matchups of the evening at 138 pounds.

After a scoreless first period, Toellner escaped from the down position before getting a takedown to go up 3-0, but Zoromski escaped to make it 3-1 heading to the final period. Zoromski started in the down position and got a stall point with about 30 seconds left, but Toellner was able to hang on the rest of the way for a 3-2 win.

Bonduel junior Max Sokolski then picked up a forfeit win at 145 pounds.

Bonduel senior Tristan Tomashek and Witt-Birn junior Larken Betry took the mat with the dual already decided, but still gave the fans a show.

Betry opened the first period by taking down Tomashek and then earning three more points on a near fall. Tomashek responded with a reversal and three-point near fall to tie it going to the second period.

Both wrestlers pulled off reversals before Tomashek grabbed the lead and then finished off the match with a pin at the 3:51 mark.

“There was a lot of emotion going into that to be honest because before I went out, we were obviously losing by nine and had already lost so I was a little bit pissed off,” said Tomashek. “So I went out there trying to be really aggressive and it almost got me pinned unfortunately. But then I was able to settle back down and pinned him.”

After its multi-dual on Saturday, Witt-Birn will travel to take on the Almond-Bancroft/Pacelli co-op on Feb. 6 for its final dual before the CWC Tournament on Feb. 8. Bonduel will take part in a multi-dual in Manawa on Friday, host Pittsville on Jan. 30 and compete in an invitational on Feb. 1 before the tournament.