Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

The streak lives on for Muskego wrestling.

Parker Bevilacqua earned a sixth-place finish at 106 pounds at the WIAA Division 1 state individual tournament last weekend at the Kohl Center in Madison, making it 18 straight years Muskego has had at least one wrestler on the podium.

"We knew he had it in him," Muskego coach Sean Fortmann said. "Nonetheless, it was his first time up there. You hope the lights don't get a little too bright, but he handled it like a savvy veteran. He kept pulling out close match after close match. I was very, very impressed. I thought the matches he lost, he really wrestled his best.

"It was exciting. For him to be a sophomore and get that experience, he can come back and share that with the team. That will be very positive for our program."

Bevilacqua (45-13) opened the state tournament with a 4-3 decision over Dawson Lambert (17-4) of Tomah on Feb. 23. He then ran into eventual state runner-up Hunter Lewis (53-5) of Stoughton, who downed Bevilacqua with a 10-4 decision.

That sent the sophomore into the consolation bracket, where he won, 2-1, over Cade Schmitz (28-13) of Oshkosh North and 6-5 over Cameron Schmeiser (34-12) of Wausau West.

Bevilacqua, who dropped down to 106 pounds after spending the season at 113, lost to fourth-place finisher Zeke Smith (48-7) of Sauk Prairie, 4-3, in the consolation semifinals before bouncing back for a 5-3 decision over Justin Groshek (42-8) of Stevens Point in the fifth-place match.

"He's been on a pretty good run," Fortmann said. "He lost a couple of matches over at the Zelinski Duals (on Jan. 21) to a couple of really good kids. At that point, he made the decision to start putting in some extra time. He just spent a lot of time working on the little things. That just combined with going down to 106 (from 113) was a big help for Parker.

"You always kind of wonder because his road through regionals and sectionals was relatively easy. We wondered how he would react once he got into the fire. But he did what he needed to to win. He's grown up quite a bit. For a sophomore to have that kind of savvy on the mat is really impressive."

Senior Jorin McGuire (40-9) fell just short of reaching the podium at 285 pounds. He began the tournament by pinning Raul Benavides (17-11) of South Milwaukee in 36 seconds. McGuire competed with returning state champion and eventual runner-up Blaze Beltran (55-1) of Pewaukee in the quarterfinals but lost, 5-3.

McGuire pinned Merrill's Noah Bolling (31-7) in 2 minutes, 3 seconds in his first wrestleback match but then lost 7-3 to fourth-place finisher Daniel Cole (47-9) of Ashwaubenon.

"Great season, great career for Jorin," Fortmann said. "Obviously, he was disappointed he fell a match short (of the podium) because he's right there with all those guys. The crazy part about Jorin is that on any given day, I think he can beat anybody.

"It was a great match against Beltran. He wrestled hard. We didn't open up enough offensively to win that match. He was overly aggressive in his last match and went for things that were uncharacteristic of what he's about. But I couldn't be prouder of him. Coming a match away doesn't define what he has been able to do."

Junior Evan Sinda (26-11), who was battling a back injury after fighting a knee injury early in the season, dropped his only two matches in the 138-pound bracket. He lost 16-1 by tech fall to fifth-place finisher Bryce Younger (40-8) of New Richmond and 9-1 to sixth-place finisher Cade Spilde (46-16) of Stoughton.

All six losses by Muskego at the state individual tournament came to wrestlers that made the podium.

"We knew Evan was a little banged up and that it would be an uphill battle," Fortmann said. "Thursday was tough. We tried to get him to manage it on Friday. He went for it, but when you are wrestling at 65 or 70 percent, it is a little tough. He's been there twice now. He knows what it is all about. It is now about him taking some time off and getting healthy."