Port Again Rules Northshore

By Joe Shinners

    Port Washington – Port Washington Pirates wrestling coach Eric LaRosa and his team can now turn their attention to the formidable task of toppling the Kaukauana Ghosts for the second time this month.

    That won’t be as easy as a task as dispatching the rest of the field Saturday at the North Shore Conference Tournament at Port.

    The Pirates, ranked No. 4 in the area, won the league title for the seventh consecutive year by sending 10 of 14 wrestlers to the final, winning eight conference titles, placing all 14 wrestlers and scoring 298 points.

    Cedarburg finished a distant second with 168.5 points, followed by Grafton with 152 and Homestead with 148.

    Port’s top nine wrestlers, led by the Dieringer brothers, entered the tournament with only 30 combined losses between them after a strong schedule this year that included a victory a week ago over Kaukauna at the Pulaski Invitational.

    Freshman Alex Dieringer and junior Andy Dieringer continued to impress at the North Shore tournament. Alex (35-0) pinned Germantown freshman Cody Szohr (22-11) in 2 minutes 48 seconds to win the title at 103 and keep pace with Germantown’s sensational freshman Jesse Thielke (35-0) as the league’s only two undefeated wrestlers.

Andy (32-2) pinned Cedarburg junior Chris Winkel (28-10) in 1:38 to win the 135 title.

Also winning titles for Port were senior Jon Meins (32-3 at 119), junior Tony Werner (19-5 at 125), senior Jack Flack (31-4 at 140), senior Bryan Steinmetz (31-4 at 171), junior Brock Henke (17-14 at 189) and senior Matt Neumyer (23-2 at 285).

 “Overall, I’d say it was a good day,” said LaRosa. “It went pretty much the way I though it would. Our top nine guys, they are supposed to win. Now we need the other guys to win the close matches at the regional (against Kaukauna).”

Thielke and Cedarburg junior Kyle Householder (31-4), a 103 state qualifier a year ago, were the only wrestlers to stop Port’s wrestlers in the finals.

Thielke, ranked No. 2 in the state, was again impressive as he pinned Port freshman Jake Maechtle (19-5) in 1:44 to win the 112 title. Maechtle, ranked No. 5 in the state, was unable to offer much resistance in the match.

Househoulder beat Port junior Eric Croatt (25-7) by a 3-1 decision in the final at 130 to even their series this year at 1-1.

Steinmetz found himself in a difficult position right off the whistle in his match against Homestead senior Nick Fleischman (19-6) in the 171 final. Fleischman scored a takedown and a two-point nearfall to take a 4-0 lead before Steinmetz took control by scoring eight points and posting a pin in 1:53.

Neumyer’s title was difficult, too, as he needed a late takedown to hold on for a 4-1 decision over Homestead junior Teiko Amuzu (16-8) in the final at 285.

Still, LaRosa feels his team is ready to win the Kimberly Regional next weekend and again stop Kaukauna, which the Pirates beat at Pulaski by 9.5 points.

 “I think (Steinmetz) was just a little too excited,” said LaRosa. “He got off his back. He was just a little too fired up. We still have some work to do. But our guys are battle tested. We’ve wrestled the best in the state this year. There are no more surprises this year.”