Team and Tournament Overview
This past Friday, a somewhat unorthodox Lockport lineup traveled up to Kaukana, Wisconsin to compete in the annual Cheesehead Invitational. After a day and a half of wrestling, the Porters found themselves in 11th place out of 29 teams, placing four wrestlers in the top 8 of their respective weight classes, with Shayne Oster's 3rd place finish at 145 being the highest.
Lockport put out what seems to be about its 15th different lineup of the season for the tournament, only fielding 13 weight classes after an injury this week kept Austin Atwood from making the trip at 195. George Wolfe and Nick Dado, each with plenty of varsity matches this year, but neither of whom wrestled at the POWERade last week, were called upon to come in and compete, with Wolfe additionally wrestling up one weight class. Jake Cook and Mike Scurlock each stepped up, and ate up, to wrestle. Cook, wrestling 120 again this week after doing so on short notice at the POWERade, had to gain over a pound Friday in order to even compete in the 120 pound class. Scurlock was in the same situation, although his bump was from usually wrestling at 160 and having be over 163 in order to wrestle at 182, which he (barely) did. Kudos to those wrestlers for doing what they needed to do for the team and their selflessness in doing so. That needed to be said.
Now, onto the recap: The team, adjusted lineup or not, failed to achieve where we had hoped and expected to by finishing 11th. We left many points on the table, losing several matches with short time remaining or getting caught and pinned while tied or leading. It's part of the sport, but it was too much of it for us this weekend. There were, however, many silver linings. Our wrestlers don't quit, and many other teams and their coaches commended us on this. We did have some exceptional performances, to be noted next. And lastly, this gives us a better glimpse of things we will need to work on in the next month in order to achieve a greater level of success in the state series next month.
First things first: If you want to see match-by-match results for each individual, please click here.
106: Anthony Molton, 4-4, 6th Place
Molton's place in his bracket is a far better indicator of his wrestling this weekend than his 4-4 record. Two of those four losses came to the only two nationally ranked wrestlers in his bracket - and in one of them, Molton had at least four double leg or high crotch lifts, having no problem getting to his legs, but not always finishing. All told, Molton's four losses came to the wrestlers taking 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
113: Matt Kronsbein, 3-5, 13th place
After winning his pigtail match to get into the pool round, Kronsbein drew the #2 wrestler in the nation in his first pool match, which started a 4 match losing skid. Kronsbein looked much better Saturday, picking up two wins, including picking up a major decision in the 13th place match.
120: Jake Cook, 0-3, 22nd Place
Cook was the epitome of someone stepping up for the team when needed, but the results didn't go as hoped. Cook had to weigh more than 109 at weigh-ins Friday just to be eligible to compete at 120 pounds, which was problematic as he was 107.5 before we left for Lockport. But, he did what he needed to do, and had the chance to compete. Cook lost the first two of his three matches by fall, hitting a nice footsweep in the first, but out of bounds. In his third match, Cook took it to overtime, but gave up three points and lost 9-6.
126: Brandon Ramos, 5-2, 9th Place
Ramos, after winning his pigtail match to enter the pool, dropped two of his three pool matches, including one match against the eventual champion, currently ranked 7th nationally. This put him in the 9-16th place bracket, where he rolled off four consecutive wins, all over opponents ranked in their respective states, in order to get his 9th place finish.
132: Brendan Ramsey, 4-4, 13th Place
Ramsey was yet another of our wrestlers who won the pigtail to get into the pool matches, only to go 1-2 and fall into the 9th-16th place bracket. Ramsey also drew a nationally ranked wrestler in his first pool match, whom he will see again many times this year, Sandburg's Rudy Yates. In the bracket, Ramsey went 2-2, with both losses coming by a point each, one of which after being reversed with 10 seconds left. In the end, Ramsey picked up a 10-3 win for 13th place.
138: Baylor Fernandes, 5-3, 5th Place
Much like Molton earlier, Fernandes' record is not indicative of his performance on the mat. Fernandes won his way into the pool round, where he took second, losing by one point to the eventual second-place finisher, but picking up two other wins on the way. Qualifying for the top championship bracket, Fernandes drew the eventual champion and 5th ranked nationally, Mitch McKee, who beat Fernandes by fall. Fernandes would then win the quarterfinal wrestleback, but drop a 4-3 decision in the semifinal wrestlebacks, giving up two points to lose the lead and the match in the final fifteen seconds. Fernandes rebounded and picked up an overtime victory to take 5th.
145: Shayne Oster, 6-1, 3rd Place
In a nutshell, Oster wrestled a fantastic tournament, with the exception of about a 30-second time period. In his pool play, Oster picked up a technical fall and two pins in just under 9 total minutes. A decision in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket put him against 14th ranked Ethan Karsten in the semifinals, and that's where 30 seconds cost Oster. In the first period of the semifinal match, Karsten headlocked Oster to his back, who managed to not get pinned, but was at a 5-0 deficit following the period. Oster outscored Karsten 6-3 over the next two periods, but lost the bout by an 8-6 decision. Oster would then go on to pick up a decision, followed by a fall in under two minutes in the 3rd place match.
152: Trevell Timmons, 4-3, 6th place
Timmons, in only his third competition back from injury, faced another tough test here, heading into a second-straight tournament with four nationally ranked kids in his bracket. Timmons came out strong, picking up wins in his first four matches, winning his pool, as well as a quarterfinal victory over Sandburg's John Prieto 8-3. Timmons then lost his semifinal matchup against the eventual champion and #3 ranked wrestler in the nation by major decision, and was unable to bounce back from there, losing two straight, including a 5-2 decision to Prieto for 5th, whom he had just beaten earlier in the day.
160: George Wolfe, 1-4, 16th Place
Wolfe, also just returning from injury and wrestling up a weight class to 160 pounds and also with relatively short notice, started off strong, winning his pigtail match by fall and putting himself into pool matches. In the pool matches, however, the size difference became quite evident, and he dropped all three pool matches, re-aggravating his injury during one of the three. Wolfe continued to wrestle, but after dropping the first round match in the 9th-16th bracket, injury defaulted out of the tournament.
170: Nick Dado, 3-1, 17th Place
Unlike other wrestlers like Molton and Fernandes, who's place is an indicator of performance, Dado's record is a much better indication of his wrestling well. Dado's lone loss was in the pigtail matches, which meant that he went into the consolation bracket, rather than pool matches. In his three consolation tournament matches, Dado picked up three falls and took 17th place. Every year there's at least one wrestler who falls victim to losing the ever important pigtail match, and unable to place higher than 17th as a result, even though they're assuredly better than several kids who did place higher. This year, that wrestler was Nick Dado.
182: Mike Scurlock, 0-3, 20th Place
Scurlock found himself in the same position as Jake Cook this weekend - very undersized, having to gain weight just to be eligible for the weight class, and then dealing with a very clear size and strength difference. Scurlock lost his opening bout by decision, relegating him into the 17th and below consolation bracket. There, he lost by fall, and in the 19th place match, caught an unintentional elbow from his opponent, causing him to have to default out of the match.
220: Dan Stojsavljevic, 0-4. 20th Place
Stoj came in and wrestled hard like he always does, but just couldn't pick up a victory in this tournament. After losing the pigtail and being forced into the consolation bracket, he lost two more by fall. In his 19th place match, we had a brief glimmer of hope, as Dan, down at the time, managed to hit a double overhook throw, but started it on the edge and landed out of bounds, so he couldn't close the gap and lost 6-0.
285: Ronald Tucker, 6-1, 9th Place
If Nick Dado is a perfect example of how the pigtail match can make or break the Cheesehead for someone, Ronald Tucker is the example for how round-robin formats can do the same. Tucker won his first two pool matches, but dropped his third pool match in overtime. Tuck hit a big headlock with about 2 seconds left just to force overtime, but while in overtime, he came out on the losing end of a small scramble situation. With the loss, Tucker joined two other wrestlers in his pool as having a 2-1 record. The first criteria for advancement was falls, and Tucker had zero, while one of the opponents he beat had pinned the wrestler Tucker lost to in overtime, so that wrestler advanced. The next criteria was head to head, so between the two remaining wrestlers, Tucker had just lost, which meant he took 3rd in his pool and went into the 9th-16th place bracket. There, he picked up a decision and two falls en route to his 9th place finish. And just to note for comparison, the wrestler he lost to in overtime ended up placing 2nd, while the wrestler he had beaten in the pool that made the championship bracket ended up taking 5th.