Support our mission
Aviano's Alex Ramos surprises Black Forest Academy's Greer McCollum and won by pin in 152-pound match Saturday during a four-team tournament at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Aviano's Alex Ramos surprises Black Forest Academy's Greer McCollum and won by pin in 152-pound match Saturday during a four-team tournament at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano's Alex Ramos surprises Black Forest Academy's Greer McCollum and won by pin in 152-pound match Saturday during a four-team tournament at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Aviano's Alex Ramos surprises Black Forest Academy's Greer McCollum and won by pin in 152-pound match Saturday during a four-team tournament at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano's Jaiden Raymond grits his teeth in determination during his 126-pound match Saturday with Black Forest Academy's Thomas Althaus.

Aviano's Jaiden Raymond grits his teeth in determination during his 126-pound match Saturday with Black Forest Academy's Thomas Althaus. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Black Forest Academy's Josh Wenger controls Vicenza's Joshua Pardew in a 138-pound match Saturday at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Black Forest Academy's Josh Wenger controls Vicenza's Joshua Pardew in a 138-pound match Saturday at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Vicenza's Malcolm Dorsey, right, went on to defeat Aviano's Noah Wolton at 220 pounds.

Vicenza's Malcolm Dorsey, right, went on to defeat Aviano's Noah Wolton at 220 pounds. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Although Vicenza seventh-grader Peter McCollaum couldn't see after his head gear slipped Saturday, he still managed to pin Black Forest Academy eighth-grader Jeffery Maier in a meet involving four schools Saturday at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Although Vicenza seventh-grader Peter McCollaum couldn't see after his head gear slipped Saturday, he still managed to pin Black Forest Academy eighth-grader Jeffery Maier in a meet involving four schools Saturday at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Black Forest Academy's Josh McKeown, top, and Rota's Mitch Crowell had one of the best matches of the day at a four-team wrestling meet at Aviano Air Base. McKeown eventually prevailed 10-9 at 138 pounds.

Black Forest Academy's Josh McKeown, top, and Rota's Mitch Crowell had one of the best matches of the day at a four-team wrestling meet at Aviano Air Base. McKeown eventually prevailed 10-9 at 138 pounds. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Rota's Keaton Regener, left, and Aviano's Nik Weiser squared off Saturday in a four-team wrestling meet at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Weiser, the defending 130-pound DODDS-Europe champion, earned a tough 1-0 victory over Regener, who took second last year at 125 pounds.

Rota's Keaton Regener, left, and Aviano's Nik Weiser squared off Saturday in a four-team wrestling meet at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Weiser, the defending 130-pound DODDS-Europe champion, earned a tough 1-0 victory over Regener, who took second last year at 125 pounds. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Vicenza's C.J. Calabrese, top, controls Black Forest Academy's Theo Baart during a 152-pound match Saturday at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Vicenza's C.J. Calabrese, top, controls Black Forest Academy's Theo Baart during a 152-pound match Saturday at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Rota's Keaton Regener tries for a third-period escape to tie his match with Aviano's Nik Weiser Saturday. But he couldn't get free and Weiser emerged with a 1-0 victory, handing Regener his first loss of the season.

Rota's Keaton Regener tries for a third-period escape to tie his match with Aviano's Nik Weiser Saturday. But he couldn't get free and Weiser emerged with a 1-0 victory, handing Regener his first loss of the season. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — It had everyone’s attention, and it drew praise from both coaches.

But Saturday’s 132-pound wrestling match between Aviano’s Nik Weiser and Rota’s Keaton Regener didn’t settle anything. And neither wrestler appeared to be satisfied with the result.

Weiser, the reigning 130-pound DODDS-Europe champion, and Regener, who finished second at 125 pounds last year, met for the first time this season. Weiser stayed unbeaten with a 1-0 victory, handing Regener his first loss.

“A classic wrestling match,” Aviano coach Robin Clement said.

“About as close as you could get,” Rota coach Jim Regener said.

It was both.

After a scoreless first period, Weiser earned a point for an escape with 1 minute, 1 second left in the second period. He then spent much of the third period trying to keep Regener from earning a tying escape. The junior from Rota, wrestling in only his second match this year, came close a few times, but couldn’t get free.

“He’s a good wrestler,” Regener said of Weiser after the match. “I respect him a lot. Hopefully, I can see him again later and I’ll be happier with the result.”

That may or may not happen. They’re not scheduled to wrestle at the same meets again this season. And it’s possible they might not be wrestling at the same weight class in the European Championships in Wiesbaden Feb. 17-18. Weiser said he’s still deciding between 132 and 138 pounds and Regener’s weighing 126 or 132.

Either way, Weiser said the match proves he has work to do on “everything. Not just one specific thing. Everything.”

Weiser’s team emerged from the four-team meet with its first victory of the season, edging Vicenza, 97-96. The meet was originally scheduled to include Naples, Vilseck, Sigonella and American Overseas School of Rome, but Italy’s nationwide truckers strike kept them from coming.

Black Forest’s first trip this year over the Alps gave the wrestlers in Italy some new opponents to compete against, though. Coach Arthur Holden said it was a long 11-hour trip, but he said it was a good chance to see what the competition will be like when the school returns to take part in the sectional tournament Feb. 11. The top two wrestlers from each of the four sectionals and four wild-card entrants will compete in the European finals.

Rota’s four-wrestler contingent was competing in its second meet of the season. In both instances, the wrestlers have had to pay for their own plane flights, according to Jim Regener, because the program hasn’t received funding from DODDS-Europe. Rota plans to send at least five wrestlers to compete in the Alconbury sectional in a few weeks.

harrisk@estripes.osd.mil

author picture
Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
twitter Email

Stripes in 7



around the web


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