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 Ozaukee’s Chase Kraus pinned fellow freshman Jarrett Gassner in 3 minutes, 15 seconds.
“It was the biggest match that he’s ever wrestled in,” Warriors coach Luke Gundrum said of Kraus.
“You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen. He was impressive. He went out there and made a lot of adjustments.”
Senior Ian Hughes also came through for the Warriors at 152 pounds by pinning Lucas Alva in 3:00. The victory came in Hughes’ first match since he was injured last season.
“We planned on bringing Ian back for some dual meets. That was a good one to bring him back for,” Gundrum said.
The meet started at 170 pounds, where Kevin Beckmann pinned Oostburg’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 Ozaukee’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 wasn’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 Ozaukee’s lone forfeit against Oostburg came at 285.
“Every year Oostburg puts good teams on the mat,” he said. “It might be another four or five years before we beat them again, but it felt good.”
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.