January 23 Zelinki Memorial Duals at Whitnall

By Joe Shinners

Special to the Journal Sentinel

            Greenfield – Whitnall/Greendale wrestling coach John Quinlan wanted to see some toughness and unity from his team this year.

            They exhibited plenty of those qualities in qualifying for the championship division Saturday at the 28th Zelinski Memorial Duals at Whitnall.

            Only the Stoughton Vikings, ranked No. 3 among Division 1 schools by wiwrestling.com, kept the Whitnall/Greendale wrestling team from having a perfect day.

            Whitnall/Greendale, ranked No. 6 in the area, saw three wrestlers go 5-0 on the day and posted a 4-1 team record to finish second overall at the 16-team dual meet tournament. In the final round of duals, Stoughton beat Whitnall/Greendale, 43-22.

The loss dropped W/G’s overall dual meet record to 26-4 on the year and was the second loss to Stoughton this year. Stoughton improved to 20-1. Sauk Prairie (13-3) finished third at 3-2 and Waukesha South (14-6) finished fourth at 2-3.

Quinlan was happy his team advanced to the championship gym for the first time since 2003.

“We wanted to get in this gym,” said Quinlan. “It’s been a while since we’ve been in here. We were thrilled with the way the day went.”

W/G, the newly formed co-op, looked like a well-blended team in the championship room. It received big performances up and down the lineup.

            Locked in a 21-21 tie against South, W/G received consecutive pins from seniors Andy Rohde (195), Ethan Harycki (220) and Alex Rohde (285) to pull away for a 45-24 victory.

            Against Sauk Prairie, W/G was lifted to victory by its lightweights as sophomore Nathan Hensley (113) and senior Ethan Latus (120) picked up pins in the final two weight classes in a 42-34 victory.

            The run for Quinlan and W/G ended against Stoughton, which won nine of the 14 matches and saw its coach Dan Spilde surpass the 300 dual meet victory mark at the tournament. Spilde now has 302 victories after guiding the Vikings to the tournament title for the fifth time in 13 years and first since 2007.

            “They are tough,” said Spilde of W/G. “We saw them earlier in the year and they pushed us to the limit. This time of the day, guys get banged up. I like coming here. It’s a tough tournament.”

Spilde was happy about reaching the 300 mark, and praised the Stoughton community for support during his 21 years as coach at the school.

“We have had a lot of good kids and the parents and the community really supports wrestling,”m said Spilde. That’s the big thing. It takes a whole community effort.”

Quinlan, already without two starters to start the day, also received a scare when junior Chase Kendall was knocked unconscious in his match against Stoughton junior Jacob Groleau at 182 pounds. Kendall injury defaulted due to a concussion.

            All in all, however, the co-op is proving to be a successful one this year.

            “We had to get them to by into the team concept,” said Quinlan. “They’ve done that. We wondered if they would buy in. We moved kids all round today. I think we had 19 kids wrestle today. We have a bunch of ‘We’ guys not ‘I’ guys.”

            South coach Ryan Green watched his team wrestle solidly against Whitnall. But in the 62-6 loss to Stoughton and the 63-3 loss to Sauk Prairie, Green saw a drop off and wasn’t pleased.

            “We talk about taking it to the next level,” said Green. “We expected to be in this room. We were in the match with Whitnall and we fought against Stoughton. But as the losses mounted we weren’t fighting as hard as we could against Sauk Prairie.”

            South senior Jordan Yatchak (34-4) lost to Sauk Prairie junior Eddie Smith (33-1) by a 1-0 decision in a big individual matchup at 145. Yatchak is ranked No. 3 at 145. Smith entered the tournament ranked No. 1 at 145 and undefeated but was pinned by No. 2 Fond du Lac junior Josh Adams (25-1) in 5:15 in the first round. Adams won the pinner award by posting five pins in a combined 13:31.

            Top-ranked Hartford junior two-time state champion Beau Breske (31-0) defeated No. 2-ranked Merrill senior Mason Reinhardt (30-1) by a 4-2 decision in the first round of action.

            At 106, No. 8 Beaver Dam sophomore Devin De Los Angeles (26-2) lost by a 10-2 major decision to No. 6 Stoughton sophomore Brandon Klein (33-5) in the first round.

            At 126, No. 5 West Allis Central senior Tere White (30-0) remained undefeated this year after winning the 106 title last year. He defeated No. 9 Sauk Prairie sophomore Drew Fjoser (30-4) by a 10-3 decision in the second round.

            Kenosha Bradford senior La’Ryan Johnson (17-0 at 220), a state finalist in Division 1 last year, returned to action after missing some time on recruiting trips that past couple of weeks, his coach Jerril Grover said. Bradford’s other top wrestler, junior Oscar Ramos (25-0 at 170) sat out the tournament resting his knee that was injured last weekend at a dual tournament at Oak Creek.


Final results

Pool A: 1, Stoughton, 5-0; 2, Whitnall/Greendale, 4-1; 3, Sauk Prairie, 3-2; 4, Waukesha South, 2-3.

Pool B: 1, Mukwonago, 4-1; 2, West Allis Central, 3-2; 3, Kenosha Bradford, 2-3; 4, Hartford, 1-4.

Pool C: 1, Merrill, 4-1; 2, Beaver Dam, 3-2; 3, Green Bay Preble, 2-3; 4, Fond du Lac, 1-4.

Pool D: 1, Brookfield Central, 3-2; 2, Muskego, 2-3; 3, South Milwaukee, 1-4; 5, Milwaukee Marquette, 0-5.