Pirates win conference wrestling title in dramatic fashion
BY RICH PALZEWIC
PULASKI – Bay Port’s Drake Anderson hasn’t wrestled many big matches in his young career, but that didn’t stop the freshman from helping the Pirates clinch a Fox River Classic Conference title in thrilling fashion Feb. 1 at Pulaski High School.
Tied at 24 entering the last match of the night, Anderson (182) pinned Lucas Gracyalny in the second period to help the Pirates leave town with a 30-24 come-from-behind win. It was Bay Port’s seventh FRCC title in the last eight years.
Trailing 6-2 after one period, Anderson executed a throw of the junior Gracyalny, sending him to the mat and setting up the pin. The victory sent the Bay Port crowd and bench into absolute hysteria.
“I was down 6-2 and kept thinking that I had to try and wear him down and pull something out in the end,” said Anderson. “I felt him twist his head down before I threw him. I knew it was there and got lucky, and stuck him. It was amazing. I knew my team – and the seniors – were counting on me… this was their last shot.”
After Bay Port jumped out to a 12-3 lead after five matches, the Red Raiders slowly began chipping away. Pulaski won the next five matches to go ahead 24-12, but Bay Port finished off the night with four straight wins to dethrone the 2017 conference champs.
“We’ve had some awesome duals in the FRCC, but I don’t think any have been more exciting for a conference title than that one,” said Bay Port head coach Brad Shefchik. “We had a good crowd tonight and either team could have won that dual. There were so many close matches, with things going back and forth. We tell the kids every year that one of our goals – at the very least – is to win a conference title. The expectations are always the same. Pulaski made some lineup changes at the end by putting some experience up against Drake to try and close things out, but he is a fighter.”
There were a number of key matches early for the Pirates, as Eli Trast won a 10-8 overtime contest at 285, which was then followed up by a Tristan Warzynski victory at 106. Warzynski trailed 2-1 with 10 seconds remaining, but gained two points on a near fall to win 3-2.
Max Meeuwsen (220), Connor Halverson (120), Chandler Stordeur (160) and Travis Jahnke (170) all won by decision for the Pirates, while Caleb Hale won by forfeit at 152.
Austin Heim had to retire from his match due to a lower-leg injury at 132.
Coming into the evening, Bay Port and Pulaski had combined for 44 conference championships in their wrestling history, but on this night, it was the Pirates’ turn to take number 45.
Bay Port vs. Pulaski Feb. 1
195 – Andrew Egnarski (PUL) over Jack Ehrfurth (BP), 6-4 Decision
220 – Max Meeuwsen (BP) over Derek Gibbons (PUL), 4-1 Decision
285 – Eli Trast (BP) over Liam Fahey (PUL), 10-8 Decision (OT)
106 – Tristan Warzynski (BP) over Alex Stoychoff (PUL), 3-2 Decision
113 – Connor Halverson (BP) over Mitchell Kitzman (PUL), 11-5 Decision
120 – Joe O’Leary (PUL) over Chance Osmanski (BP), 10-6 Decision
126 – Owen Heinz (PUL) over Marcus Delfosse (BP), 7-5 Decision
132 – Cole Gille (PUL) over Austin Heim (BP), Medical Forfeit
138 – Logan Bellow (PUL) over unknown (BP), Forfeit
145 – Brady Sorenson (PUL) over Matt Arnoldi (BP), 6-4 Decision
152 – Caleb Hale (BP) over unknown (PUL), Forfeit
160 – Chandler Stordeur (BP) over Brock Gracyalny (PUL), 7-4 Decision
170 – Travis Jahnke (BP) over Jadin Lemke (PUL), 8-2 Decision
182 – Drake Anderson (BP) over Lucas Gracyalny (PUL), Fall