Mukwonago Gets Start at Ed Stech

By Joe Shinners

Special to the Journal Sentinel

      West Allis – Mukwonago wrestling coach Andy Trudell didn’t really know what to expect from his team as it finally got down to business and started the season in full swing.

      After a long delay to deal with the tragedy surrounding the car crash that left three Mukwonago students dead early this month, the Indians finally got a chance to get in some matches at the 35th Ed Stech Invitational at West Allis Central.

      Mukwonago, ranked No. 1 in the area, showed few ill effects from the delayed start after entering the tournament with only two duals (both victories) to date.

      The Indians won the 18-team tournament with 202 pounds, followed by Hartford at 162, No. 6-ranked Pewaukee at 161, Whitnall with 141.5 and Sparta with 126.

The Indians sent four wrestlers to the finals and saw 12 in all finish in the top six as they won this tournament Saturday for the second time and first since 2004.

“I was worried a little bit that we hadn’t competed much,” said Trudell. “I knew the kids were excited to compete. We only had a couple matches under our belt and we are a month into the season. They’re sick of practicing. They wanted to beat up on somebody else for a bit.”

Mukwonago was led by senior standout Billy Schlottke, who won the 152-pound state title a year ago in his second state final appearance. He received an early challenge from Wauwatosa senior Nick Morin in the final at 160, but finallly took control at the end of the second period.

Schlottke (6-0) held a 4-0 lead when he finally turned Morin (11-1) and registered the pin in 3 minutes 54 seconds to win his third Ed Stech title. Morin qualified for state a year ago.

Mukwonago also received a title from senior Brad Baus (6-0), who pinned West Allis Central senior Tony Roum (12-2) in 2:50 to win the 189 title.

“Our kids had to wrestle from 13 seeds and work their way through,” said Trudell. “We had 12 kids place in the top six and that was outstanding.”

Hartford rebounded well from a tough loss to Muskego last weekend, and posted a surprising second-place finish.

The Orioles had nine wrestlers finish in the top six and saw senior Luke Multhauf (11-1) win the 140 title by pinning Central senior Jesse Fletecher (11-3) in 36 seconds.

“We finished with a pretty solid round, but we have a lot of inexperienced kids,” said Hartford coach Steve Best. “I knew we were capable, but we found out we have a lot of work to do when we get home.”

Talented Germantown freshman Jesse Thielke (13-0) didn’t disappoint with a dominant showing at 112 pounds. He tech falled Sparta junior Derek McDonald (9-1) by a 15-0 score in 1:47 to win the 112 title.

“It was good to get a tournament like this in before we head to the Oshkosh on the Water,” said Thielke. “It was a good way to get ready for the next level.”

Pewaukee finished with two champions in junior David Phillips (10-1) and senior John Hrabik (9-2). Phillips defeated Wauwatosa senior Pat English (11-1) by a 10-6 decision to win the 145 title. Both were state qualifiers a year ago.

Hrabik defeated Oak Creek junior Jordan Hauerwas (9-2) by a pin in 5:17 to win the 152 title.

Whitnall’s  fourth-place finish was highlighted by the performance of two-time state qualifier Jake Noel. Noel, a senior, improved to 16-0 with a 6-2 victory over Oak Creek senior Josh Howard (8-3) in the final at 125. Noel fell behind, 2-0, on Howard’s early takedown, but controlled the match with his leg ride from there. Both wrestlers qualified for state a year ago with Noel taking a 3-1 decision in the sectional final.

“He’s not very flashy,” said Whitnall coach John Quinlan. “But he wins a lot of close matches.”

Whitnall senior David Witkiewicz (16-0) won his third Stech title by hanging on to beat Wawuwtosa junior Glen Kendl (11-1) by a 2-0 decision at 285.