Dec. 21 Quinlan’s Co-op Finds Success

By Joe Shinners

Special to the Journal Sentinel

            West Allis – For all the controversy surrounding the Whitnall-Greendale wrestling team, it sure seems to be able to keep its focus on the mat and deliver for coach John Quinlan.

            Whitnall-Greendale had 10 of its 14 wrestlers place fifth or better, had a pair of wrestlers reach the finals and had 12 score as the newly formed team scored 169 points to finish second at the E.H. Stech Invitational Saturday at West Allis Central.

            Wisconsin Rapids, ranked No. 6 among Division 1 teams by wiwrestling.com, finished with four individual champions, placed six wrestlers in the finals and won the 19-team tournament with 208 points. West Allis Central finished third with 130.5 points, followed by Waterford (126.5) and Wauwatosa (121) in the top five.

            It quite a day for Whitnall-Greendale, which gave Quinlan his highest finish at the tournament since he led Whitnall to a second place finish 21 years ago.

            “We’re really thrilled,” said Quinlan, whose co-op team is in its first year. “To come out of here with 10 medalists – that’s the most we ever had. We didn’t have any champions, but we had the thirds, fourths and fifths. That shows, obviously, the depth of the team and that everyone contributed.”

            Whitnall’s two finalists were seniors Nick Monty (14-3 at 152) and Ethan Harycki (10-4 at 220). Monty was defeated by Waterford senior Max Fisher (11-0) by an 8-2 decision.

Fisher’s title was his fourth at the tournament.

Harycki was defeated by Whitefish Bay senior Steve Meyer (14-0) by a 4-3 double-overtime decision.

            Meyer’s reversal with 8 seconds remaining gave him the victory in one of two overtime matches in the championships.

            Some have criticized the merger of Whitnall and Greendale, most notably Pewaukee coach Ed Kurth. Kurth has repeatedly said that two Division 1 schools should not be merged. The two teams are in the Woodland Conference.

            Quinlan is happy that the Whitnall-Greendale team has managed to find success this year. The team knocked off Pewaukee, 31-23, in a Woodland dual this week.

            “Both teams combining has been a real positive,” Quinlan said. “The kids have developed a lot of new friendships. It’s helping us have camaraderie. Everything’s been good so far and everyone is doing whatever they can. We’ve had a lot of guys out of the lineup this year for various reasons.”

            It was no different at the Stech for Whitnall-Greendale. Two starters – seniors Anthony Senthavisouk (126) and Blake Leslie (145) – were out for this tournament with injuries.

            “We did as well as we could do today,” Quinlan said. “We weren’t going to catch Rapids today.”

            Central was led by the White brothers. No. 3-ranked junior Tyus White (10-2) lost to No. 2-ranked Wisconsin Rapids junior Patrick Spray (16-1) by a 5-2 decision in the 120 final. No. 2-ranked senior Tere White – the returning 106 Division 1 state champion – defeated Brookfield Central junior Ben Olson (15-1) in the 126 final.

            Central coach Jon Nelson, whose team picked up its first dual meet victory in the Greater Metro over Menomonee Falls in two years earlier in the week, was happy with where his team is. He wasn’t worried about the merger talk even though Central and Whitnall-Greendale will meet at regionals this year.

            “We’re going to be like always,” Nelson said. “We’ll be peaking at the right time. We’ve been on a roll lately. We beat Menomonee Falls and that was huge for us. West Allis Central worries about West Allis Central.”

            Hartford junior Beau Breske (17-0 1t 182), the two-time D1 state champion who is ranked as high as No. 3 nationally, continues to make competition against state wrestlers look ridiculously easy.

Breske pinned all four of his opponents in the first period. In the final, he pinned Rapids junior Nathan Fuller (15-2) in 24 seconds to win his third Stech title.

            Breske contends he isn’t bored by the easy victories in the state.

            “It’s nice to come back and defend my title,” said Breske. “I just did what I had to do to score points (against Fuller) and that ended up ending the match.”

            Wauwatosa came away with a pair of champions in No. 3-ranked junior Justin Folley (10-0 at 132) and No. 7-ranked senior Ben Reagan (9-1 at 138).