Indians grapplers learn lessons in state team tourney loss to Bay Port
Team competes without Ayoola Olapo and Bill Holz
History was made Friday, but Menomonee Falls wrestling coach Jim McMahon hopes that it's only the beginning of something bigger.
The short-handed Indians competed in the school's first WIAA Division 1 state team tournament Friday at the UW-Madison Fieldhouse, but was knocked out in the quarterfinals by powerful Bay Port, 63-13.
Falls lost 11 of the 14 matches and gave up 10 pins, but got back-to-back victories from sophomore Aaron Daly at 106 pounds and freshman Jerott Holz at 113.
Despite the loss, McMahon was enthused about the possibilities the future may hold for his young team.
"We're excited," he said. "We've got a lot of kids coming back. We hope to use this as a motivational tool to build upon."
Falls, which was coming off a spectacular effort at the WIAA Individual Tournament the week before, had lost to Bay Port earlier this season in a tournament. Bay Port went on to lose, 32-30, to eventual champion Wausau West in the semifinals Saturday.
The Indians were without 182-pound state finalist Ayoola Olapo (illness) and fellow state qualifier Bill Holz at 120, who was out with an injury.
"We just had to hold them out tonight," McMahon said. "All year long we always preach next man up. That was it tonight. We just didn't do it."
Daly, a state individual finalist this year, used solid takedowns against freshman Jordan Delfosse to set up the only pin for the Indians in one minute, 29 seconds.
"I happened to catch the leg when I was taking him down," Daly said. "I was able to cradle him right up (for the pin)."
Like McMahon, Daly realized the importance of what Falls has accomplished this season.
"Our whole team, not just for me, it was a record-breaking season," Daly said. "I thought it was really good. Our team went out having a really good season."
Jerott Holz routed fellow state qualifier Henry Prange by a 13-5 major decision.
"I felt confident on my feet once I got that first takedown," Holz said. "I decided to keep going up to the feet because I knew I could take him down. That third period I knew I had a comfortable lead, so I took down and just rode it out."
The two met at individual state in the wrestleback rounds with Holz taking a 5-0 decision to bump Prange from the tournament.
Jerott Holz is confident Falls will be a force to reckon with for some time.
"We've got a lot of good young people, eighth-graders coming up," Holz said. "I don't think we're going anywhere. I think we're here to stay."
Falls junior Casey Crangle nearly pulled a major upset over individual semifinalist Chad Osmanski at 132, but got caught with under 10 seconds left and was pinned at 6:00.
Holding a 10-9 lead over Osmanski, who finished fourth at 132, Crangle gave up a late reversal that proved to be too costly.
"I didn't know how the lineup was going to go," McMahon said. "That really wasn't the plan, but Casey got bumped up (from 126). He was fine with that. I thought Casey was going to pull it out there and he just got turned to the back at the end and got pinned."
Trailing 18-0, Falls scored its first team points after junior Jake Fuiten scored on a single-leg takedown with under 20 seconds remaining for the 5-3 decision at 170.
McMahon credits this highly successful season to hard work, on and off the mat.
"It comes in the weight room and it comes in the off-season wrestling," McMahon said. "That's where we're able to make our mark and improve. Hopefully we can do this again next year."
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