It was a dominant start to the season for the Baraboo prep wrestling team on Friday night when the host Thunderbirds rolled past DeForest 51-15 in a Badger North Conference dual meet.
Baraboo won five matches by forfeit and added four solid victories, all but one coming by pin.
“I really liked our intensity,” T-Birds coach Joe Bavlnka said. “We had a full six minutes-plus. Even the matches we lost, we didn’t give up, so yeah, I’m real proud of them.”
DeForest took an early lead in the dual after Ardit Beluli defeated Baraboo freshman Max Statz by a 4-1 decision in the 145-pound match. Beluli earned a tackdown early before Statz recorded an escape to make it 2-1, but a late reversal gave Beluli the victory.
Senior Malaki Ringelstetter gave Baraboo the lead soon after with a pin over Alex Endres in the 152. Ringelstetter was in control from start to finish, earning a takedown just seconds into the match before pinning Endres 55 seconds into the first period.
“Malaki with the phantom cradle, he just pulled it out of nowhere,” Bavlnka said. “That was kind of the spark; from there, that kind of set the tone for the rest of the match.”
The Norskies retook the lead after the next two matches, with Austin Rauls winning by forfeit at 160 while Jared Stuttgen defeated Baraboo senior Braydon Scarborough by a 5-2 decision at 170. Scarborough hung tough in his match, nearly earning a pin in the final period but after a stoppage, Stuttgen sealed the deal with a reversal with 25 seconds left to give DeForest a 12-6 lead.
The Thunderbirds took over from there, winning the next four matches for a quick 24 points. It started with an exciting win by sophomore Aiden Estes at 182. Estes easily handled DeForest’s Alex Pert, as he quickly went up 5-0 after a takedown and a near fall, before earning two more unanswered takedowns to lead 9-0. Estes eventually ended the match by pin with 41 seconds left in the final period.
Jacob Kimpfbeck (195), Tyson Fry (220) and Joseph Schick (285) all won by forfeit before the Norskies tacked on three points to their total when Chase Shortreed defeated Baraboo freshman Carter Stapleton 8-3.
Neither team had a wrestler at 113 pounds before freshman Brandon Jesse grabbed his first varsity win with a 7-3 decision over Luke Beyer at 120. After a scoreless first period, Jesse worked hard for an escape in the second to go up 1-0. Beyer found an escape of his own to tie it in the third, but Jesse dove at Beyer’s left leg and got control for a takedown. Beyer escaped again to make it 3-2 with under a minute left, but Jesse avoided a potential stalling call by earning another takedown with several seconds left to seal the win.
“I liked Brandon Jesse’s match in a sense that it was a tight match,” Bavlnka said. “When you get in a tight match like that, sometimes you have the tendency to clam up and stop wrestling, but he put the pedal to the metal so to speak in the last 20 seconds and got a couple takedowns. It just shows his determination and really how we wrestle as a team.”
Eli Davidson and Johnathan Gunderson went on to win by forfeit at 126 and 132, before two-time state qualifier Pablo Ramirez finished things off with a pin at the 1:28 mark over JC Olson at 138.
The Thunderbirds will travel to East Troy today for an invitational.
The Baraboo High School boys basketball team fell 67-35 at Mount Horeb in the Thunderbirds’ Badger North opener.
Baraboo (0-2 overall) had a tough first half, falling behind 48-23.
“We didn’t score enough points obviously to be in it,” coach Darrin Berger said. “In the first half, we gave up 48 points, and really we just didn’t come out with enough intensity on defense and we gave them a lot of good looks. They sort of jumped on us early. After halftime, I thought our effort was much better. We had some moments where we could have had some better shots, but we didn’t hit a lot of shots.”
Mason Peterson led the team with 10 points, followed by Connor Grogan with eight and Justus Neuman with seven.