Cougars dominate Eskymos

ESCANABA – It was a tough home opener for the Escanaba wrestlers Thursday night as they dropped a 54-21 decision to the Coleman Cougars.

The Cougars, Division 3 state runners-up in Wisconsin last season, recorded six pins.

“This is a great confidence builder for us,” said Coleman coach Kevin Casper. “Escanaba has a nice team. Our kids never let up, and I was proud to see that.”

Coleman junior C.J. Pillath opened by pinning sophomore Mo Hoque two minutes, 20 seconds into the 215-pound bout. Freshman teammate Donovan Salewski then pinned sophomore Bryant Beem 2:33 into the heavyweight match for a 12-0 advantage.

Esky got on the board at 103 pounds when freshman Hunter Royer took a 10-6 decision from freshman Devin Schulte.

“That was a big win for Hunter and the team,” Esky coach Jamie Segorski said after a lengthy team meeting. “Although, this wasn’t a good performance for us overall. Coleman has a real good team. Yet, we felt they had a few weaknesses we could have taken advantage of. I don’t know if we couldn’t have beaten Coleman tonight, but I thought we could be right with them. We just didn’t wrestle well enough to give ourselves a chance to win.”

Esky, which won three weight classes by forfeit, was within 30-21 heading into the 145-pound match.

Coleman then won the last five bouts, starting with senior Jackson Margis’s 10-5 triumph over junior Kaleb Rahoi. Trevor Seewald (152) then pinned Teddy Peippo in 63 seconds and Dexter Karbon (160) needed just 30 seconds to pin Travis Heller.

“Our senior leaders are fantastic wrestlers,” said Casper. “Jackson and Dexter wrestled two of Escanaba’s best wrestlers. We’re happy to come away with victories in both of those matches. Jamie does a nice job with his program. I’m sure Escanaba will improve throughout the season.”

In the 145 bout, Margis gained a quick 6-0 advantage on a takedown, near fall and an escape.

Rahoi, however, trimmed his deficit to 6-3 on an escape and takedown in the second period and climbed within 7-5 on a takedown with 50 seconds left in the third.

Margis then secured the decision with an escape and takedown during the final 17 seconds.

“Kaleb and Travis both got caught in moves,” said Segorski. “Dexter Karbon is probably the frontrunner at 160 pounds in Wisconsin. Kaleb made a mistake and got whacked by five points right off the bat, although he battled back (at 145). He just dug himself into too deep a hole.

“I believe every kid on this team has potential. But all potential means is we haven’t been there yet. We want to see results. And we’ll have to wrestle better than we did tonight in order to get the results we want.”

The Eskymos, who forfeit one weight class (119), resume in Saturday’s Bay Port Invitational near Suamico, Wis.