Muskego - Life without Jordan Gruettner and Roland Dunlap begins for the Muskego wrestling team.
Gruettner and Dunlap both claimed WIAA Division 1 state championships in the past two seasons. Gruettner finished his Muskego career with 172 victories and Dunlap with 162. Both also won conference crowns in each of their four seasons.
Their departure, along with that of Justin Scherkenbach, who took third at state last season, leaves this year's squad with some major holes to fill.
"We have a very young team with nine freshmen and sophomores in our varsity lineup, so we will take our lumps along the way," head coach Sean Fortmann said. "The kids have shown that they have great attitudes and will continue to improve as the season continues. I'm excited to see the gains that they make as wrestlers by the end of the year."
Key returnees for the Warriors include junior Austin Quartullo at 120 pounds, who finished sixth at state at 113 pounds last season, and junior Connor Price at 152.
Other lettermen are sophomore Cameron Rygiewicz at 132 and sophomore Ryan Borton at 160, and Fortmann said freshman Jack Sarnowski (106) looks promising.
The Warriors opened the season with a 45-29 dual-meet loss to Greater Metro Conference power West Allis Central on Nov. 29.
Winners were senior Ryan Honerlaw at 182 with a pin in 3 minutes, 3 seconds; senior Jim Miller at 195 (14-11 decision), Quartullo at 120 (19-4), sophomore Brady McFarland at 145 (8-4), Price at 152 (pin in 27 seconds) and Borton at 160 (pin in 5:05).
Sarnowski, in his first varsity match, dropped a 1-0 decision at 106.
Other wrestlers in the varsity lineup against Central were freshman Vinny Nazario (113), freshman Taylor Pietrzak (126), sophomore Riley Wikel (138) and sophomore Alex Hauke (heavyweight).
The Warriors open Classic 8 Conference action with a dual meet at Hartland Arrowhead at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, then travel to the Bay Port Invitational at 9:15 a.m. this Saturday.
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