By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

      The Waterford Wolverines finished second in their first high school wrestling tournament of the season Dec. 1 in the Howard/Manely Duals at East Troy High School.

      Waterford opened Southern Lakes Conference competition Nov. 29 with a victory at Elkhorn.

      The Wolverines are off until Dec. 13, when they wrestle at Burlington in what might be the most highly-anticipated SLC dual meet of the season.

      “I thought we wrestled good, but not great,” Waterford coach Tom Fitzpatrick said. “We certainly had some individuals, though, that wrestled tough all day long.”

      The Wolverines won their pool at East Troy, and the only defeat they suffered in the dual meet tournament was to eventual champion Mukwonago. The Wolverines lost 51-20 to the Indians.

      Waterford beat Oconomowoc 42-36 to secure second place.

      The Wolverines beat Cedarburg 66-18, West Allis Central 72-6 and East Troy 61-15 in pool wrestling.

      Fitzpatrick praised Hayden Halter at 120 pounds and Evan Danowski (170) for their performances at East Troy.

      Halter pinned returning state champion Tommy Larson and Danowski upset returning State Qualifier Jake Dessart.

      “Hayden is hard-nosed and isn’t afraid of tough competition,” Fitzpatrick said. “Evan is a tough kid who wasn’t intimidated by the senior state qualifier.”

      Halter finished 5-0, as did Alex Guardiola (160), Josh Cherba (132) and Boyd Biggs (220/285).

      Danowski, Goldammer (145) and Lucas Johnson (106) each finished 4-1, and Tony Mastrocola (220) went 3-1.

      Guardiola (182), Cherba (160), Goldammer (152), Will French (138), Cherba (132), Halter (126) and Lucas Johnson (106) won matches in the SLC dual against the Elks.

      “I was quite pleased with how the guys responded to the first dual of the year,” Fitzpatrick said. “Wrestling a quality team like Elkhorn, with a strong wrestling tradition, you have to be ready to go.

      “I felt we won every match we were favored in, and also won almost all of the toss-up matches.”

      Fitzpatrick praised Halter, Cherba, French and Guardiola for their performances against the Elks.             

     “I thought freshman Hunter Rudzinski (113) also showed great heart and fight inhis match with a tough foe in Payton Jacobson,” Fitzpatrick said. “Although he lost 5-1, he was in the match competing the whole time.”