Ozaukee wrestling team rallies to snap five-year skid with road win over Oostburg
It had been five years since Ozaukee got the best of Oostburg in a dual wrestling meet.
Until last week, that is.
Overcoming an early deficit with six straight match wins, the Warriors defeated host Oostburg, 38-31, in a Central Lakeshore Conference showdown Friday.
A key match came at 106 pounds, where Ozaukeeâ€™s Chase Kraus pinned fellow freshman Jarrett Gassner in 3 minutes, 15 seconds.
â€śIt was the biggest match that heâ€™s ever wrestled in,â€ť Warriors coach Luke Gundrum said of Kraus.
â€śYouâ€™re not quite sure whatâ€™s going to happen. He was impressive. He went out there and made a lot of adjustments.â€ť
Senior Ian Hughes also came through for the Warriors at 152 pounds by pinning Lucas Alva in 3:00. The victory came in Hughesâ€™ first match since he was injured last season.
â€śWe planned on bringing Ian back for some dual meets. That was a good one to bring him back for,â€ť Gundrum said.
The meet started at 170 pounds, where Kevin Beckmann pinned Oostburgâ€™s Austin Portschy in 3:15.
The Flying Dutchman responded by winning the next four weights by a decision, technical fall, pin and forfeit to build a 20-6 lead.
But then came the Kraus match, and the tide turned with Ozaukeeâ€™s victory streak.
Colton Kraus scored a 14-1 major decision at 113, Cole Large won a 8-5 decision at 120, Colin Hughes pulled out a 8-6 victory at 126, Taz Gottsacker scored a 12-0 major decision at 132 and Logan Smith pinned his opponent at 138 in 3:15.
Oostburg stopped the bleeding with a pin at 145, but Ian Hughes ended the suspense with his victory.
Gundrum said the key for his team wasnâ€™t just winning matches but avoiding giving up six points in each loss.
Grant Klas lost by technical fall at 195 but saved a point by not getting pinned. At 182, Sam Schuette lost a 2-0 decision that only cost the Warriors three points.
Entering this season, Gundrum said he knew it would be tough to fill some of the heavier weights, but Ozaukeeâ€™s lone forfeit against Oostburg came at 285.
â€śEvery year Oostburg puts good teams on the mat,â€ť he said. â€śIt might be another four or five years before we beat them again, but it felt good.â€ť
Gundrum also said he wanted his team to end its traditional third-place finish in the conference behind Random Lake and Oostburg. Last Friday, the Warriors took a huge step toward cracking the top two.
This week, Ozaukee will participate in the Mid-States Invitational at Whitewater on Thursday and Friday.