Eagle wrestler makes it through undefeated to the semifinals


by Billy Loverocket

Billy DeKraker

The day before the PowerAde Tournament at Cannon-McMillan High School was to start, a list of scratches came out. McDonogh had quite a few grapplers appear on that list, so mush so, yours truly just assumed they had to pull out as a team due to an administrative decision.

On Wednesday afternoon, I noticed two wrestlers sporting the familiar McDonogh garb, Billy DeKraker (126) and Noah Onkst (172). DeKraker (No. 2 in MD) would go onto place fourth, while Onkst (No. 9) would not follow suit.

DeKraker, who came in unseeded, surprised Nick O’Neill (Malvern Prep, PA) with a 5-0 overtime win in the round of 32. O’Neill is ranked No. 15 in country by FloWrestling. The sophomore used that momentum to reach the semi-finals where he ran into another unseeded wrestler, Wyoming Seminary’s Vince Bouzakis. Bouzakis, who is a freshman, was wrestling in his first high school tournament. Bouzakis pinned DeKraker and would end up winning the title.

DeKraker, meanwhile, won his consolation semi-final bout to setup a rematch with O’Neill. This time, O’Neill got the better of him, posting his own 5-0 decision.

A few other wrestlers with Maryland roots, who have been highlighted by VSN at these bigger events, continued their stellar campaigns. At 138, Blair’s Paul Ognissanti finished second, adding this to his placements at the Ironman and Beast of The East. The national rankers are noticing too. At the Ironman, Ognissanti was unseeded and not nationally ranked. He came into PowerAde No. 12 in the nation and was seeded third. Ognissanti got his start with the Warhawks under the tutelage of Dan Ricker.

Ognissanti’s teammate. No. 5 TJ Stewart was hoping to make it three-for-three at the big three tournaments. After capturing Ironman and Beast crowns, Stewart reached the finals here but came up short in overtime to No.8 Dayton Pitzer (Mt. Pleasant, PA), 4-2.

Wyoming Seminary’s Meyer Shapiro, who won a Cadet World Championship last summer, captured the 145lb title with little challenges. In the finals, Shapiro blanked Ty Watters (West Allegheny, PA), 7-0. Shapiro, who is ranked 3rd in the country, wrestled his freshman year at the Bullis School, winning a state title that year. The junior transferred to Wyoming Seminary ahead of this season.