Soper energizes Esky wrestlers

ESCANABA – The Marquette Redmen started off the night with three straight pins to put themselves ahead 18-0 Thursday night, but Escanaba’s Bill Soper energized his whole team after winning his heavyweight match over Rainger Rossway. After that, it was all Escanaba, as they rolled to a 53-21 triumph.

“It was a good draw for them to start off at 171, Curt Calovecchi is a great wrestler,” said Escanaba coach Jamie Segorski. “They followed it up with their 189-pounder who is pretty good, and then (Josef) Iwanicki who is a real good wrestler too. So we knew going in there that it was a tough draw. We got pinned by their heavyweight a few weeks ago, so it was a real big win for Bill, and he wrestled absolutely fantastic tonight.”

As the heavyweight match reached its end, the entire Eskymos team was cheering him on, and the tone in the building seemed to change.

The next match featured the 112 lb. Trevor Irving, who pinned Marquette’s Tyler Teneyck in 1:43. After a couple of forfeits by the Redmen, Escanaba had a 21-18 lead.

At 125 lb, Hunter Moore of Marquette took on Zach Priebe in perhaps the most tightly contested match of the evening. It was a back and forth battle from start to finish. Priebe built an early lead, but Moore came back with an escape to make it 13-10, and then pulled off a reversal in the final seconds. However, the late run came up just short, as Priebe took the match 13-12.

Another forfeit from Marquette boosted the Eskymos to a 30-18 lead. Then Escanaba’s Hunter Sadler pinned Ken Hubbard in 3:26, and Kaleb Rahoi earned a win by technical fall over Marquette’s Brian Helmer Jr. in 2:22, and the Eskymos had left the Redmen in the dust with a commanding 41-18 advantage in the contest.

At 152 lb, Austin Johnson earned one final victory for the Redmen when he beat Alec Slaga by a 4-1 decision.

“They’re a good team, we knew that coming down here,” said Marquette coach Charlie Gentz. “To me, tonight was just a gauge to see where we’re at because realistically, we want to perform at our best when we see them at districts.”

Segorski had a similar point of view. “It’s a great confidence builder going into the latter part of our season,” he said. “This is it. we want to peak now, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The Eskymos resume Saturday at the Peshtigo Invitational.