By David Paulsen


Halfway through the Southern Lakes Conference season, everything is looking up for the Burlington High School wrestling squad.

The team is 4-0 in SLC duals and has defeated the three teams head coach Jade Gribble said were the front-runners in the conference – Delavan-Darien, Lake Geneva Badger and Elkhorn.

Elkhorn was the latest victim of the Demon grapplers, as Burlington defeated the Elks 43-34 Thursday at Elkhorn.

Gribble was happy with the team’s performance, noting that there is always room for improvement.

The dual began at the 160-pound weight class with a match between Burlington’s Brandt Gavin and Elkhorn’s Devin Kinney.

“Brandt Gavin got us going right away with a big pin,” Gribble said.

Gavin pinned Kinney in three minutes, 19 seconds.

After a loss at 170, Mitch Otter got three points for Burlington with a 7-3 decision at 182.

The Elks won the next three matches, all by pin, to take a 22-9 lead. But then the match swung in the Demons favor.

Freshman Ben Hornicle, at 106 pounds, pinned Bryce Fitzgerald in 3:35.

“Once we got going at 106, we got going again,” Gribble said.

Although the Demon boys lost the 113 match, they won the next four to take 37-28 lead.

Freshman Lucas Shenkenberg scored a pin in 2:16 at 126. Derek Gill won by pin in 1:10 at 126; Matt Ehlen scored a 13-1 major decision at 132; and Brody Fitzpatrick got a pin in 3:32 at 138.

“Our freshmen at 106 and 120 came up big again for us,” Gribble noted. “I’m quite impressed with them. They picked up big pins for us.”

Gribble was also delighted to have Fitzpatrick back at 138. He had missed the entire season up to this dual.

“He looked good,” Gribble said.

After a loss at 145, Willie Ehlen closed the dual out with a pin in 2:32 at 152.