Shawano dominates Xavier to claim Bay title

Title a first for Shawano wrestlers
By: 

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Reef Anthony, top, begins to flip Xavier’s Dylan Ballard during Tuesday’s Bay Conference dual at Xavier High School. Anthony worked hard to secure a pin at the 5 minute, 36 second mark.

After a dominant 70-10 dual win over Xavier at Xavier High School on Tuesday, Shawano improved to 6-0 in the Bay Conference, and took the school’s first-ever Bay championship.

Coming into the 2018-19 season, Shawano wrestling coach Mike Homan was hoping his team could build on some tough dual matches it endured last year and take the next step as a team. It’s safe to say the Hawks accomplished that and then some.

The Hawks had never before placed higher than fourth in the conference standings.

“It feels so special,” Homan said of the team’s first conference title. “This program has had such a rich tradition of good wrestlers and I think we’ve been close at certain times, so to have this group come up and put it all together is special. It’s special to me, it’s special for these kids, I’m really happy for these kids. They put the work in and we’ve asked a lot out of them and they have delivered.”

With plenty of Shawano fans making the trip to Appleton to support the team, the Hawks gave them plenty to cheer for.

After Shawano dropped a major decision in the 132-pound weight class to start the night, Shawano responded by winning the next 10 weight classes before forfeiting the 113 weight class.

The Hawks won nine of those 10 weight classes by pin, with junior Keith Tourtillott winning a 10-1 decision at 220 pounds in the other victory.

“I just cannot believe this is our first Bay title in all of history. I’m so proud to be a part of it,” Keith Tourtillott said. “It took a whole lot of grit and hard work.”

Sophomore Reed Anthony got the momentum rolling for Shawano, staking himself to a 6-0 lead after two periods before pinning his opponent at the five minute, 36 second mark of the 138 weight class.

With the crowd still buzzing from Anthony’s pin, junior Benjamin Carroll fed off the energy and pinned his opponent in just 34 seconds at the 145 weight class.

“It means everything. We’ve worked so hard this season and came here today and we knew we weren’t going to let anyone rip it out of our hands,” Carroll said of the conference title.

Sophomore Gage Timm took the mat next for the Hawks at the 152 class. After taking a 2-0 lead after one period, Gage Timm was able to secure the pin at the 2:34 mark of the match.

Senior Alexander Sumnicht kept things rolling for the Hawks, taking down his opponent in the 160 weight class in 1:55. The pin upped Shawano’s lead to 24-4.

Instead of getting passive with a big lead and wrestling not to lose, each Hawk wrestler that stepped to the mat set an tone, aggressively attacking the opponent.

Senior Crede Timm kept the gym buzzing, controlling his opponent at the 170 weight class before earning the pin at the 1:04 mark.

“It feels really good to be the first (conference champions) in school history,” Crede Timm said. “We’ve had a long school history of not being that great at wrestling or having very big teams — now that we finally have a complete team and are wrestling together, it means a lot to be a part of that and be part of history for our school.”

Sophomore Trace Yeager was also the aggressor in his match at 182 pounds. Yaeger led 4-0 after one period before securing the pin at 3:20. Senior Samuel Tourtillott upped the Hawks lead to 42-4 with another first period pin at the 1:19 mark in the 195 class.

After Keith Tourtillott’s win at 220, sophomore Nick Kohn sent the crowd into a frenzy with a dominant 20-second pin in the 285 class after slamming Xavier’s Braeden Tepp to the ground.

Sophomore Wyatt Brandt kept the Hawks’ impressive night rolling, pinning his opponent in 1:21 at the 106 class.

After forfeiting the 113 class, Shawano got the points right back after Xavier forfeited the 120 class. Junior Andrew Christian picked up the win for Shawano.

In a fitting end to the night, Hawks’ sophomore Colten Herm earned a first period pin at the 31-second mark, the team’s seventh of the night.

“Very impressive,” Homan said of the victory. “We fought a lot of adversity to wrestle this dual between being postponed twice and moved all around. So for our kids to come out and wrestle the way they did was just phenomenal. We were looking for pins, and we weren’t going to give any up and we didn’t do that tonight. We just kept hammering, I’m so proud of them for getting after it.”

Shawano will have the rest of the week to prepare for the Division 1 Antigo Regional on Saturday.