Bonduel comes up empty at Ashwaubenon wrestling triangular

Dustin Riese

Not to get lost in the shuffle of the weekend wrestling extravaganzas are the midweek tilts as the Bears hit the road to take on Shawano and Ashwaubenon on Dec. 7.

The wins were tough to come by as Bonduel dropped both matches on the night by scores of 60-9 to Shawano and 48-29 to Ashwaubenon. However, there were several strong performances across the board, especially against the Jaguars.

“I was very proud of how the team battled,” coach Chad Bogacz said. “We are pretty young this year, but we are gaining valuable experience and keep improving, which is crucial in each match we wrestle.”

Shawano 60, Bonduel 9

There wasn’t much that went right for the Bears in this one as Bonduel managed to come away with only two wins. Both came late in the match, and both came from a pair of wrestlers who put on strong performances all night.

After looking as if the Hawks would shut out the Bears, it was the lightweights that came to play as Jaxon Bogacz secured the first win for the Bears at 120 pounds via second period pinfall.

However, it was the 126-pound match that was the best match of the night with Hailey Berg coming away with an impressive 14-13 victory to give the Bears nine consecutive points. Her performance on the mat was one that Chad Bogacz loved and is hoping his team can learn from it as those were the final points of the first match for Bonduel.

“I was proud of Hailey Berg winning a tough match,” he said.

Vance Paholke nearly came away with an additional victory at 285 pounds, falling 3-1 in overtime to Wahkeenyah Waukau.

Ashwaubenon 48, Bonduel 29

Looking to bounce back after their rough showing against Shawano, Bonduel came out with a different mindset, leading to a much better showing on the mat. Despite the result still ending in a loss, a 48-29 defeat against Ashwaubenon is nothing to hang your head on as the Bears gave the Jaguars all they could handle in many of those matches.

Unlike their first match that saw the Bears trail from start to finish, it was Bonduel opening up a 3-0 lead as Jayden Popp secured a 13-10 decision at 165 pounds.

That was the last of the points for awhile as Ashwaubenon ripped off 18 consecutive points, 12 coming via a pair of forfeit wins and the other coming as a pinfall.

Hoping to stay close in the early stages, Paholke got revenge from his tough loss against Shawano and picked up a pin at the 285-pound weight class to make this an 18-9 match.

Two more victories at the 106- and 113-pound classes stretched the Jaguars’ lead to 30-9 as things were not looking good at this point. Despite that deficit, the Bears continued to battle, which is all you can ask for as a coach as Jaxon Bogacz secured a 13-4 major decision at 120 pounds to give the Bears four more points. Bogacz had a great night as he was the lone wrestler to win both his matches.

“Jaxon had a great night for us,” Chad Bogacz said. “He wrestled hard in both of his matches and wound up being the lone wrestler for us to secure a win both times.”

Trailing 30-13 after that win from Jaxon Bogacz, the Jaguars put things away as they picked up all 18 points in their next three matches to open up a 48-13 lead. From there, it was all Bonduel as they not only ended the night with a flurry, but a flurry that saw them win the final three matches and score 16 of a possible 18 points.

Thomas Vanderzanden started things off with a 13-1 major decision at 144 pounds before Ben Letter picked up a pinfall at 150. Matthew Walenta closed the night out for the Bears at 157, and he continued the strong finish from the Bears with another pinfall as Bonduel finished strong in their 48-29 defeat.

“Two of my freshmen, Jayden Popp and Thomas Vanderzanden, both had some big wins versus Ashwaubenon,” Chad Bogacz said. “With us being so young, we know it will take some time getting to where we want to be. It’s a process of learning and growing to achieve success, and I like the direction we are heading.”