The Waterloo wrestling program’s final test of the 2022-23 regular season turned into a massive confidence boost for the Pirates. They made the quick trip over to Deerfield High School for the Deerfield Scramble on Saturday, Jan. 28 and turned heads. Waterloo led for the first three quarters of the event, eventually placing fourth of the 19 teams with a team score of 445.
“Overall, it was a great outing by all of our wrestlers,” Waterloo head coach Thurston Schuster said. “I’m super proud of how they battled. It was a nice way to end our regular season. It really shows how hard the kids have been working. There’s been some tough sledding at times, but their dedication shows. Every kid has done a great job of improving through the season.”
It was a tremendous day for the Pirates as nine of their 10 wrestlers reached the podium in their respective weight brackets, finishing in sixth place or better to come home with a medal.
Junior Ryan Sturgill spearheaded this effort, earning third place in the 132 lbs. bracket. It was Waterloo’s highest finish of the day. He started his day by pinning a La Follette wrestler in just 37 seconds following an opening bye. He then fell in a 3-2 decision to a Poynette wrestler, but bounced back to pin a Menasha wrestler in four minutes flat. Sturgill would fall in a tight 7-5 decision to a Random Lake wrestler in his final match to take third.
Fourth place was a popular position for Waterloo on the day as four Pirates finished there: Freshman Avery Skalitzky (106 lbs.), freshman Brady Ebert (113 lbs.), senior Jacob Soter (152 lbs.), and freshman Andy Carrillo (195 lbs.).
Skalitzky brought the drama in his sole victory of the day after his first round bye. Tied up at 19 through three periods with a Jefferson wrestler, the match headed into overtime. 33 seconds into the extra time, Skalitzky scored a takedown for a 21-19 sudden victory. He would be pinned twice and lose in a 15-0 tech fall in his following three matches.
Ebert also received a bye before taking home a medical forfeit victory in his first match. He would then take a 16-5 major decision loss to a La Follette wrestler, a 16-9 decision loss to a Kenosha Christian Life wrestler, and get pinned by a Sun Prairie wrestler in 1:17.
There would be no bye for Soter, who won his opening match with a Stoughton wrestler with a pin at the 5:52 mark. He kept that momentum up with a 16-0 tech fall victory over a Waukesha South wrestler. He’d go the distance in two of his next three matches, losing in 5-2 and 7-5 decisions before closing the day with an 18-2 tech fall loss.
Carillo started his day with a bye and followed it up with a pin of a La Follette wrestler in 4:52. He would get pinned in his following three matches at the 1:19, 1:44, and 3:35 marks.
Waterloo also got a pair of fifth place finishes out of junior Ian Spoke, wrestling at 182 lbs., and sophomore Owen Koele, wrestling in the 120 lbs. bracket .
Spoke was dominant on the day, adding four wins to his resume with three pins (1:26, 2:48, 4:52) as well as a 3-0 decision victory. His sole loss on the day came from a pin by a Random Lake wrestler at the 4:52 mark.
Koele also finished his day with four wins and a loss. He earned two pin wins at 45 seconds and 3:55, a 13-2 major decision win, and a forfeit victory. Even his loss went the distance, as he would concede a 9-5 decision loss to a Poynette wrestler.
Sophomore Ryan Fugate (138 lbs.) and freshman Ben Ugorji (160 lbs.) also found themselves on the podium with sixth place finishes.
Fugate won two of his four matches on the day following an opening round bye. He would pin a La Follette wrestler in 2:53 and took a forfeit win over a Deerfield wrestler. His two losses came by way of a 10-0 major decision and a pin at the 1:20 mark.
Ugorji wreslted five matches and took home three wins. All three were pins, coming at the 5:28, 3:44, and 1:15 mark. His losses were also pins, one coming in 2:41 to a Poynette wrestler and the other coming at 3:44 to a Menasha wrestler.
Stoughton would take home first place in the event with a team score of 489, followed by Random Lake in second with a 470, and Menasha in third with a 466.
Waterloo has one more tune-up left on the schedule before the Capitol conference meet: a head-to-head with Markesan on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The Pirates will serve as this season’s host school for the conference meet, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 4 and begins at 9:30 AM.