Shawano dominates Xavier at home dual

Homan sees huge improvements in young team

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School freshman Jerald Raeder pinned Xavier’s Drew Malone in 1 minute, 18 seconds during a home dual on Tuesday. Shawano won 69-12.

Shawano wrestling coach Mike Homan saw his wrestlers take a huge step forward in a dominating 69-12 win over Xavier during Tuesday’s home dual.

“Everybody took the changes we’ve made and really turned it up a notch tonight,” Homan said. “It’s good to see the kids finish their matches off. That’s kind of what we’ve been lacking, but they did it tonight. We have definitely shown flashes where we can come out and wrestle well, but we can’t quite finish those matches off, and I think tonight we did that.”

Homan attributes the improvement to intensifying practices over the holiday break.

“We had an excellent couple days of preparation,” Homan said. “We’ve seen a huge improvement in how we prepare for matches, and it shows. The thing we’ve been preaching the last couple weeks after two really close dual losses is paying more attention to the details.

“We brought in a nutritionist to talk about eating the right way, we’re changing our warmup and making things a little more intense. I think all of those things, along with the fact that the last couple losses really stung for the kids, is helping them making those improvements.”

The Hawks displayed the development from practice with a blowout over Xavier. Shawano lost just two matches — one by forfeit, and a Xavier pin over Dominick Blake (182 pounds), who made the switch from basketball to wrestling just two weeks ago.

“He’s got so much potential,” Homan said of Blake. “He’s literally two weeks into his season right now, so to be where he’s at, he’s doing outstanding things.”

The Hawks won all but one match by pin, with Keith Tourtillott defeating Xavier’s Mac Strand by decision at 220 pounds.

“I was pretty nervous coming into my first match from being sick over Christmas break,” Tourtillott said, “so it felt really good to get the win. I used my strategy for long matches like this, which is to wait until I can hear my opponent breathing heavy and getting tired, and then I just reset and turn up the heat.”

In just his second year ever wrestling, sophomore Tourtillott is already seeing vast personal improvements. He’s at 14 wins so far this season after just three last year.

“Coach Homan gave me the goal of 15 wins this season, which I didn’t think I could do at the beginning of the year,” Tourtillott said, “and I’m already just one away. It just gives me more fire to do better, and I know I can get way more wins this season. It makes me excited for the future.”

Tourtillott also attributes the success to the close-knit team.

“This sport pushes you to your limit, and when we’re all practicing together and going through that grit together, I think that has built a family-like team,” he said. “We come out and wrestle better as a team and we’re all supportive of each other, and I think that starts with getting through those tough practices together.”

With just one senior and nine freshmen, Homan is confident in what the team can achieve during the remainder of this season and into next.

“I think the sky is the limit, depending on how hard they work,” he said. “They can really do some special things. It’s such a young group, so the way it’s looking, they’re going to be some very impressive wrestlers as the season progresses and carrying over to next year.”

Shawano 69, Xavier 12

126 pounds: Reef Anthony (Shawano) pinned Nate Picard in 1:55; 132: Shawano forfeit; 138: Ben Carroll (Shawano) pinned Sam Loken in 1:43; 145: Gage Timm (Shawano) pinned Gavyn Bernegger in 0:57; 152: Alex Sumnicht (Shawano) pinned Adrian Chenci in 2:52; 160: Jerald Raeder (Shawano) pinned Drew Malone in 1:18; 170: Sam Tourtilott (Shawano) pinned Andrew Van Der Kolk in 1:51; 182: Wil Golubeff (Xavier) pinned Dominick Blake in 1:29; 195: Crede Timm (Shawano) pinned Jacob Earle in 1:39; 220: Keith Tourtillott (Shawano) won by decision over Mac Strand; 285: Nick Kohn (Shawano) pinned Sean Curran in 3:18; 106: Wyatt Brandt (Shawano) pinned Gavin Andree in 1:55; 113: Andrew Christian (Shawano) pinned Joe Malski in 3:24; 120: Colten Herm (Shawano) pinned Carter Hietpas in 1:16.