Subscribe
AFNORTH's Ryan Butler, bottom, attempts to spin out from under Heidelberg's Michael Cacal Saturday at Würzburg, Germany. In a stunning upset, Cacal pinned Butler at 5:22 to win the 160-pound championship.

AFNORTH's Ryan Butler, bottom, attempts to spin out from under Heidelberg's Michael Cacal Saturday at Würzburg, Germany. In a stunning upset, Cacal pinned Butler at 5:22 to win the 160-pound championship. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

WüRZBURG, Germany — Heidelberg’s Michael Cacal pulled the upset of the season, but Division II powers Bitburg and Patch pulled out all the stops by crowning three champions each and finishing 1-2 Saturday in the 11th Wolfpack Holiday Wrestling Tournament.

Cacal narrowly averted a first-period fall at the hands of defending European silver medalist Ryan Butler of AFNORTH in the 160-pound title bout, then caught Butler attempting a reversal and pinned him at 5:22.

“It feels great to beat him,” said Cacal, who trailed 5-0 after two minutes, during which he was squirming, flopping and bridging in a desperate attempt to avoid being pinned.

“I got his leg and flipped him over a couple of times,” Cacal said of his reversal of fortunes, “but I couldn’t have beat him without Don.”

“Don” is two-time European champion Donald Walker, a 2003 Heidelberg graduate who wrestles for NCAA Division I Edinboro (Pa.) State. Back in town for the holidays, Walker imparted his experience and expertise to Cacal, his pupil said.

“Don taught me those last moves I used,” said Cacal, who became the second successive Heidelberg wrestler to beat Butler. Heidelberg graduate Tyler Arms handed Butler his only defeat last season in the European championship bout.

Cacal’s gutsy comeback made him one of four Division I wrestlers to strike gold Saturday. The others were Tony Gagnon of Wiesbaden, a 2-1 victor over Karl Saucier of Ramstein, and the K-town duo of Tony Althoff at 189 and Chuck Madden at 215, who both won by injury default.

Bitburg’s three titles came from Daniel Brunal at 103, European champion Devon Gardner at 130 and Jordan Watts at 171.

Watts said his victory, over former teammate and wrestling partner Garrett Eichhorn of Ansbach, lacked joy.

“It’s tough to wrestle a friend,” said Watts, who pinned Eichhorn at 2:00 of their title bout. “We’ve trained together ever since he started wrestling.”

But the victory fit in nicely with Watts’ plans for his senior year.

“I was really shaken up last season by my loss at Europeans,” he said. “I’m slowly building toward trying to get back what I lost last year.”

There were precious few losses Saturday for Bitburg, which beat Patch 166½-148 for the team title and saw 275-pound bronze medalist Gregg Woten register five falls — the quickest of them taking 20 seconds. Host Würzburg was third at 146.

Patch’s three champions were familiar faces — European champions Joe Morrow, wrestling this year at 125, and Josh Anderson, a 135-pounder in 2003-04, along with 275-pounder Brian Bowles. Like the Bitburg champs, all three Panthers won by fall in the final bout.

Anderson, who won his third straight European title in February after coming back from a dislocated elbow that resulted in the only loss of his high school career, showed no ill-effects in pinning Matt Grahek of Ramstein in 1:14 for the 135-pound crown.

Even though he’s won every tournament he ever entered, Anderson said it’s still fun to win the Wolfpack.

“It’s a great feeling anytime,” he said. “It’s tough to win any tournament.”

Especially the Wolfpack, which this season attracted 18 schools and 128 wrestlers, according to meet director Duane Werner.

“The turnout was excellent,” said Werner, who now hands the holiday tournament reins over to Dave Izzo of Ramstein. The Royals will host another holiday event on Jan. 3.

Wolfpack Holiday Classic

WüRZBURG, Germany — Results of championship, third-place and fifth-place matches and most pins Saturday in the 11th Wolfpack Holiday Classic high school wrestling tournament:

Team scoring — Bitburg 166.5, Patch 148, Würzburg 146, Wiesbaden 101.5, Ramstein 90, Heidelberg 82, Brussels 80, Mannheim 54, Kaiserslautern 51, Ansbach 41, Menwith Hill 40, Bamberg 31, Alconbury 25, London Central 23.5, SHAPE 23, Vilseck 19, Hanau 0.

103 pounds — 1, Daniel Brunal (Bitb) def. Chris Toner (Heid) 7-2; 3, Nick Grahek (Rams) pin Nate Buckley (Pat) 2-52; 5, Jeremiah Raveling (Rams) by forfeit over DeShaud Key (Wzbg). Most pins: Toner, 2 in 349 seconds.

112 — 1, Jonathan Scott (LC) by forfeit over Paul Moseman (Brus); 3, Andrew Elizaldez (Mann) by forfeit over Josh Carlson (Kais); 5, none. Most pins: none.

119 — 1, Josh Quiocho (Mann) pin Chris Vucich (Pat) 4:18; 3, Marvin Domingo (Rams) pin Mike Kincaid (AFN) 1:04; 5, none. Most pins: Quiocho, 2 in 311 seconds.

125 — 1, Joe Morrow (Pat) pin Jonathan Painter (Wzbg) 5:45; 3, Joe Pears (Brus) pin Andrew Moon (Heid) 2:44; 5, Cody Schlarbaum (Wzbg) bye. Most pins: Pears, 2 in 199 seconds.

130 — 1, Devon Gardner (Bitb) tech fall Jesse Painter (Wzbg) 15-0; 3, Elias Elizaldez (Mann) pin Jeremy Watts (Bitb) 1:45; 5, Bobby Bohn (Vils) pin Steven Singletary (Wzbg) :59. Most pins: Elizaldez, 3 in 243 seconds.

135 — 1, Josh Anderson (Pat) pin Matt Grahek (Rams) 1:14; 3, Deighton Jones (Alc) def. Nick Whorley (Heid) 18-12; 5, Andreas Buonamia (Heid) by forfeit over Daniel Herring (Bamb). Most pins: Anderson, 3 in 201 seconds.

140 — 1, Cole McClain (MH) pin Jon Pears (Brus) :47; 3, David Villanova (Bitb) pin Darius Pirtle (Wzbg) 2:46; 5, David Lock (Rams) bye. Most pins: McClain, 2 in 348 seconds.

145 — 1, Tony Gagnon (Wies) def. Karl Saucier (Rams) 2-1; 3, Zach Sheppard (Rams) def. Mike Kelleher (SHA) 6-0; 5, Andre Aleong (Heid) def. John Hergert (Wzbg) 18-16. Most pins: Z. Sheppard, 2 in 328 seconds.

152 — 1, Bryan Isbell (Brus) def. Matthew Alexander (Wies) 10-8; 3, Andrew Zachar (Heid) pin Ivy Fisher (Bitb) :29; 5, Michael Mosby (Wzbg) by forfeit over Rory Lozano (Ansb). Most pins: Zachar, 3 in 146 seconds.

160 — 1, Michael Cacal (Heid) pin Ryan Butler (AFN) 5:22; 3, Aaron Austin (Wzbg) pin Sanz Foy (Vils) 1:22; 5, Lance Hoffman by forfeit over Doug Bagnall (Alc). Most pins: Austin, 2 in 162 seconds.

171 — 1, Jordan Watts (Bitb) pin Garrett Eichhorn (Ansb) 2:00; 3, Jim Curtis (Wzbg) def. Mike Beukens (Pat) 17-4; 5, Jeremy Paulson (Ansb) def. Roger Gates (SHA) 12-5. Most pins: Watts, 2 in 175 seconds.

189 — 1, Tony Althoff (Kais) by injury default over Robert Fleck (Wzbg); 3, Ricky Gonzalez (Wies) pin David Brown (Pat) :56; 5, Robert Wright (Vils) by forfeit over Errick Wilson (Heid). Most pins: Gonzalez, 2 in 128 seconds.

215 — 1, Chuck Madden (Kais) by injury default over Eric Gardner (Bitb); 3, Randy Van Ginkel (Bitb) pin Mike Gamberton (MH) 1:16; 5, Justin Schraeder (Wzbg) by forfeit over Eddie Roberts (AFN). Most pins: Van Ginkel, 2 in 187 seconds.

275 — 1, Brian Bowles (Pat) pin Sean Boland (Bamb) 5:53; 3, Gregg Woten (Bitb) pin Greg Surprise (Wies) 2:59; 5, Quin Hooks (Wzbg) pin Chase Eschrich (Wzbg) 1:11. Most pins: Woten, 5 in 484 seconds.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up