As the tournament season begins this week, the Muskego wrestling team appears to be approaching its top form.
The Warriors downed Arrowhead, 40-27, in a Classic 8 Conference dual meet on Jan. 28 to finish 6-1 in league dual action, losing only to first-place Mukwonago (7-0).
'It is always good to beat Arrowhead,' coach Sean Fortmann said. 'The kids wrestled the best they have in the month of January. This reaffirms that our plan is working and we are wrestling our best at the most important time. From top to bottom (of the lineup), the kids wrestled well. This bodes well for us.'
The Warriors will compete in the Classic 8 Tournament at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at Waukesha West. Mukwonago is the favorite, but Muskego and some other teams will try to make their marks as well. The official conference championship is based solely on the tournament, not the dual meets.
'It should be a great tournament,' the coach said. 'There are a lot of strong weight classes.'
The Warriors then take part in a WIAA Division 1 regional meet on Saturday, Feb. 13, at home.
The Arrowhead dual meet last week was largely decided by a string of Muskego victories from 120 to 138 pounds.
Tommy Wintheiser pinned his 120-pound foe in 3 minutes, 26 seconds, and then Tyler Huckstorf posted a 10-4 decision at 126 pounds.
At 132, Evan Sinda earned a pin with just one second left in his match, providing crucial extra points, and at 138, freshman Alex Reddick recorded a pin in 1:34.
'Those were huge wins for us,' Fortmann said. 'They set the tone for the meet. Wintheiser has been strong all year, Sinda got the pin in the last second and Reddick really came through.'
Other victories came from Tyler Schanen at 113 (forfeit), Gavin McNally at 170 (6-3), Grant Balconi at 195 (13-5 major decision) and Jorin McGuire at heavyweight (pin in 1:11). McNally's victory was vital because it broke a three-match Arrowhead winning streak.
'Arrowhead moved some guys around from their normal spots,' Fortmann said, 'but we wrestled straight up (with the usual lineup), and the kids did well.'