Veterans boost West Allis Hale's wrestling outlook
Huskies take third at Kettle Moraine
A group of veterans, including a pair of returning WIAA Division 1 state qualifiers, give the West Allis Hale wrestling team reason for optimism this season.
The Huskies' returnees are led by senior state qualifiers Luke Ellis and Dallas Wanta. In addition, Wanta is a two-time Greater Metro Conference champion.
Also back are junior John Baltz, a GMC finalist; senior Jake Gruichich, a conference finalist and WIAA regional champion; and senior Andrew Buelow, a two-time conference finalist.
"We will have several fresh faces in the lineup this year," head coach Randy Ferrell said. "We do have several returners who should be able to guide this team forward.
"Our guys are working very hard in the weight room to insure that we continue to build on the foundation that has been laid for this program by past graduates. It should be a very exciting season."
The Huskies finished third in the Kettle Moraine Laser Duals on Saturday, posting a 3-2 mark in dual meets.
They beat Kenosha Tremper 54-23, Milwaukee Hamilton 60-15 and Oak Creek 35-27 and lost to tournament champion Wisconsin Rapids 48-13 and to Mukwonago 51-16. The victory over Oak Creek gave them third place.
Notching a 5-0 mark was Wanta at 220 pounds, while going 4-1 were Baltz at 113 pounds, Ellis at 138 and junior Jordan Shields at 145. Finishing 3-1 were senior Tony Gibilian at heavyweight and senior Julien Moreno at 152.
Hale downed Marquette 72-9 on Dec. 5 in the GMC opener with 11 pins. Winners were Baltz (pin in 50 seconds), sophomore Oliver Arena (pin in 1:10), Mario Lunar (forfeit), sophomore Simo Gruichich (pin in 39 seconds), Ellis (pin in 1:40), Shields (pin in nine seconds), Moreno (pin in 3:26), Jake Gruichich (pin in 1:05), senior Ryan Sheard (pin in 1:11), Buelow (pin in 3:40), Wanta (pin in 2:49) and Gibilian (pin in 1:04).
The Huskies fell to Pewaukee 45-20 on Dec. 3. Taking their matches were Buelow (9-4), Wanta (15-6 major decision), Gibilian (pin in 3:36), Baltz (15-1) and Ellis (9-4).
Hale takes on rival West Allis Central in an early GMC showdown at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at home, then travels to Sheboygan for an invitational Saturday.
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