By Mike Ramczyk
With a wealth of experience and talent, the Waterford varsity wrestling team has lofty goals for this season, namely a conference title and success at the state tournament.
A younger Burlington squad is still trying to figure out its identity, but the Demons showed fight Thursday night at home against the rival Wolverines.
Burlington won three straight matches to take a 24-19 lead, but the Wolverines finished with five straight match wins to pick up the Southern Lakes Conference victory, 46-24.
After Burlington’s Elijah Kiesler earned an easy pin in 1:28 at 145 pounds, Waterford took over.
Austin Thomas bullied his opponent at 152, building a large lead before earning a pin at 4:58 to give the
Wolverines a 25-24 lead.
Then, Jordan Danowski followed it up with a dominant pin at 160, taking out Luis Guevara in 37 seconds.
With a 31-24 lead, the match at 170 was perhaps the best of the night.
Burlington’s Lance Otter and Waterford’s Tanner Cadman were evenly matched, each scoring a point through two periods.
Each move was countered by his opponent in the third period, until Cadman earned a late escape to take the 2-1 victory. The match could’ve gone to either wrestler, and these two may have built an intriguing rivalry.
With a 34-24 lead, Waterford’s Jared Krattiger won by forfeit before Tony Mastrocola capped off the night with a resounding pin in 1:23 over Burlington’s Nathan Bousman.
Waterford improved to 2-0 in SLC dual action, while Burlington is 0-2.
The Wolverines battle Elkhorn Dec. 15 in a match that could eventually determine the conference champ.
Burlington travels to the Waunakee tournament before hosting Westosha Central Thursday.
Waterford 46, Burlington 24
220: Juanye Thornton (BURL) over Boyd Biggs (WATE) (Dec 12-5) 285: Ej Mastrocola (WATE) over Max Travis (BURL) (Dec 7-3) 106: John Nelson (WATE) over (BURL) (For.) 113: Cody Welker (WATE) over Kyle DeRosier (BURL) (TF 18-3 4:01) 120: Zach Weiler (BURL) over Lucas Winski (WATE) (Fall 2:48) 126: Sam Winski (WATE) over Ben Kumprey (BURL) (Fall 0:01) 132: Jake Skrundz (BURL) over Zack Kaminski (WATE) (Fall 1:21) 138: Max Ehlen (BURL) over Anthony Christenson (WATE) (Dec 7-3) 145: Eli Kiesler (BURL) over Justin Pankowski (WATE) (Fall 1:28) 152: Austin Thomas (WATE) over Qwade Gehring (BURL) (Fall 4:58) 160: Jordan Danowski (WATE) over Luis Guevara (BURL) (Fall 0:37) 170: Tanner Cadman (WATE) over Lance Otter (BURL) (Dec 2-1) 182: Jared Krattiger (WATE) over (BURL) (For.) 195: Tony Mastrocola (WATE) over Nathan Bousman (BURL) (Fall 1:23) (WATE USC -1.00)
Three Waterford wrestlers perfect at first invite
By Chris Bennett
Three Waterford Union High School wrestlers finished the day with undefeated records (5-0) Dec. 3 in the Laser Duals at Kettle Moraine, and helped the Wolverines to a second-place finish.
Waterford wrestled Thursday at Burlington in a SLC dual meet, and competes Dec. 15 at Elkhorn in a SLC dual meet.
The Wolverines beat Wilmot 53-24 Dec. 1 at home in a SLC dual meet.
At Kettle Moraine, A.J. Guardiola (145 pounds), Jared Krattiger (182) and Jack Trautman (195) each finished 5-0 in dual meet competition. Krattiger pinned all five of his opponents, and spent less than a total of five minutes on the mat.
Jordan Danowski (160), Tanner Cadman (170) and EJ Mastrocola (285) each finished 4-1, and John Nelson (106), Cody Welker (113/120), Sam Winski (126) and Austin Thomas (152) each won three matches.
Waterford opened the dual meet tournament with a 55-20 loss to Kaukauna, and rallied for four straight wins.
The Wolverines beat Milwaukee Hamilton 78-0, West Allis Hale 54-18, Mukwonago 44-28 and Kenosha Tremper 52-23.
Burlington shows fight in first action
By Andrew Horschak
And Mike Ramczyk
The Burlington wrestling team’s promising freshman class had a productive varsity debut and gave a glimpse of what is in store this season.
Max Ehlen, Jake Skrundz and Ben Kumprey all won their matches in a season-opening 40-26 defeat to defending Southern Lakes Conference champion Badger on Thursday, Dec. 1 in Lake Geneva, and then fashioned top-five finishes in the 16-team Gunslinger Invitational two days later in Slinger.
In the loss to the Badgers, Kumprey pinned Richard Martinez in 3 minutes, 56 seconds at 126 pounds, Ehlen won by technical fall (15-0) over Brandon Martinez at 138 and Skrundz won by a 9-3 decision over Stevie Kraus at 132.
Burlington coach Jade Gribble commended his team, which was without one of its top wrestlers, Nate Crayton.
Crayton will be back Saturday for the Waunakee tournament.
“For the Badger dual we had seven freshman and three sophomores in the lineup, so to battle a good program like Badger I thought the kids wrestled very well,” Gribble said. “We won nearly all the close matches except for heavyweight and at that weight class we came from behind to tie the match late.”
“I had several young kids step up to win big matches for their first varsity wins. Two wrestlers that won big matches where Jake Skrundz and Lance Otter. Jake dominated a talented junior and Lance came back from behind to beat a good senior wrestler.”
Otter won by a 5-4 decision over George Somerville at 170, and sophomore Nate Bousman won by a 4-2 decision over John Lininger at 195.
Burlington’s only other fall came courtesy of sophomore Zach Weiler, who pinned David Dublin in 1:47 at 120 pounds. The Demons were pinned four times and had a forfeit at 106 pounds in the defeat.
Thornton shines in Slinger
In the first tourney of the season at Slinger, senior Juanye Thornton was the runner-up at 285 pounds for the Demons’ best individual performance.
Oak Creek finished first in the team standings with 400.25 points and Slinger (363.75) and Fort Atkinson (349.25) rounded out the top three. Burlington ended up ninth with 225.25 points.
Thornton won his first four matches of the day – two by pin – before being pinned by Slinger’s Charlie Covert in 2:54 in the championship match.
In the same weight class, Burlington’s Max Travis and Wyatt Hayes placed third and seventh, respectively. Travis won three of his first four matches by pin with the only loss coming against the eventual champion (by pin in 1:26). In the third-place match, Travis held on for a 10-9 victory over Slinger’s Casey Osterberg.
Ehlen (138) and Otter (170) both brought home third-place finishes.
Ehlen went 3-0 in his pool matches with one pin before being pinned by eventual champion Hudson Mountjoy of Slinger in 48 seconds in the semifinals. Ehlen bounced back with an 8-6 victory over Nico Roscioli of Fort Atkinson in the semifinals.
“Overall I was pleased with our performance,” Gribble said. “We have plenty of areas to improve on and we started a little slow but improved as the day went on. I would say that Lance Otter and Max Ehlen had the best days overall. Both wrestled very well and beat some good wrestlers.”
Otter also went 3-0 in his pool matches with three pins before he was pinned by Nolan Paar of Oak Creek in 2:37 in the semifinals. Otter regrouped to notch his fourth pin of the day, sticking Jacob Zubke of Homestead in 2:25 in the third-place match.
Kumprey (126) and Skrundz (132) both placed fifth.