By MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff
Grafton High School’s wrestling team finished fifth of six teams at its home duals tournament on Saturday, but the Black Hawks weren’t without some highlights.
Senior Ben Birch went 5-0 at 182 pounds.
“He didn’t just win his matches. He dominated his opponents, controlled them from start to finish,” coach Brant Murray-McKelvey said.
“He hit another level this week. He’s where he needs to be.”
Birch pinned Aiden Johnson of Kenosha Tremper in 3 minutes, Tyler Lockett of Mukwonago Varsity Reserve in 3:43, Lucas Rathje of Shoreland Lutheran in 3:40 and Carter Janus of Racine Case in 38 seconds. He won one match via forfeit.
Max Jacoby at 160 pounds went 3-2. He was pinned by Hector Rosalez of Sheboygan Falls in 1:09 and Misha Grayson of Racine Case in 3:11 before he pinned Logan Hansen of Kenosha Tremper in 1:40, Joe Manata of Mukwonago Varsity Reserve in 38 seconds and Nathan Rathje of Shoreland Lutheran in 51 seconds.
“He looked really good this weekend. He has a lot of talent, but the confidence level was missing throughout the season,” Murray-McKelvey said. “This weekend it seemed to come out. He really took off.”
Miles Muilenburg at 285 pounds went 3-2. He pinned Nicholas Mauldin of Kenosha Tremper in 3:20 and Thomas Markham of Shoreland Lutheran in 1:24, and was pinned by Declan Nason of Racine Case in 1:04 and Hunter Szyszkiewicz of Mukwonago Varsity Reserve in 2:12. He won one forfeit.
“Miles Muilenburg really shined this weekend. He had some matches that on paper he was the heavy underdog, and he went out there and he won,” Murray-McKelvey said.
After starting 2-9, Muilenburg has gone .500 since.
“He didn’t let a bad start get him down,” Murray-McKelvey said.
The Hawks beat Shoreland Lutheran, 42-40; and Racine Case, 45-36. They lost to Kenosha Tremper, 57-24; Mukwonago Varsity Reserve, 60-21; and Sheboygan Falls, 43-34.
Kenosha Tremper won, followed by Mukwonago Varsity Reserve, Shoreland Lutheran, Sheboygan Falls, Grafton and Racine Case.
On Jan. 25, the Hawks nearly won their first North Shore Conference dual of the season at Cedarburg, falling to the Bulldogs, 40-36.
Grafton’s Audrey Hanson at 106 pounds, Birch at 182 and Nathan Krause at 220 pinned their opponents.
“Our best wrestling didn’t show up as a whole. I think the pressure of hey, we have an opportunity to get our first win out here, got to the guys,” Murray-McKelvey said.
On the same night, the Hawks lost, 75-6, to West Bend East. Hanson won a forfeit.
Injuries continue to plague Port
Port Washington’s smaller lineup due to injuries has hurt the team in dual meets and tournaments.
The Pirates scored 73.5 points and finished 10th in the 16-team Pulaski Invite on Saturday. Kaukauna won with 275.5.
The Pirates had two positives. Freshman Garett Kawczynski (31-2) won the 220-pound weight class.
He pinned Jonah Goetsch (26-14) of Denmark in 1:47, pinned Lucas Leisgang (23-8) of Seymour in 3:18, and in the finals beat Jordan Loose (22-11) of Kaukauna in a 16-3 major decision.
“He’s been doing great,” coach Angelo LaRosa said.
The other bit of good news is that defending NSC champ Brandon Grabowski returned from injury last week. He was second at the invite.
Grabowski (18-2) at 160 pounds pinned Ayden Needham (21-13) of Hortonville in 1:27 and Tristan Taylor (17-4) of Pulaski in 5:26 before losing a 15-0 technical fall to Liam Crook (30 -4) of Kaukauna.
“He’s working his way back,” LaRosa said.
In two duals at West Bend on Jan. 25, Port lost, 42-36, to Nicolet and to West Bend West.
Against Nicolet, Kaiden Schumacher, Nate Streiff, Grabowski, Diego Armendariz and Ramon Agrinsoni earned pins.
Against West, Schumacher, Nick Gonzalez, Angelo Scarpaci, Grabowski and Sam Pasten pinned their opponents.
On Jan. 26 at Plymouth, Port beat Oostburg, 47-31, and Plymouth, 64-18.
Against Oostburg, Agrinsoni, Schumacher, Armendariz and Nick Bensen earned pins. Against Plymouth, Bensen, Caleb Runkel, Schumacher and Scarpaci pinned their foes
Port and Grafton wrestle in the NSC Tournament at Nicolet on Friday, Feb. 3.