Competing under the toughest of circumstances, and with understandably heavy hearts, the Whitnall/Greendale wrestlers came in 12th in their own Zelinski Duals on Jan. 21.
The co-op team took the mats for its annual showcase meet just three days after the tragic loss of teammate Colton Strupp, who took his own life last week.
"We cancelled our meet (on Jan. 18) against Pius XI," co-coach John Quinlan said. "We found out (about Strupp) just before getting on the bus that night. If the (Jan. 21) meet had not been the Zelinski, we probably would have canceled it."
Instead, the wrestlers bravely tried their best to compete at the Zelinski one day before the memorial services for Strupp were held.
They won one of five dual meets to take 12th place in the strong field, which was led by perennial power Stoughton with a 5-0 mark.
"The kids were there physically but not mentally," Quinlan said. "We lost some close matches where you could tell that the kids were not themselves."
Strupp had been a varsity member and enjoyed a highlight earlier this season in a dual meet against South Milwaukee, when his pin helped seal a 40-21 victory.
"Now we just have to try to get through this somehow," Quinlan said.
Whitnall/Greendale defeated Janesville Parker, 63-18, behind victories from Omar Hammad at 182 pounds (forfeit), Luke Leranth at heavyweight (forfeit), Chip Hansen at 106 (pin at 47 seconds), Dom Wichgers at 113 (forfeit), Sebastian Iverson at 126 (pin in 3 minutes, 58 seconds), Nathan Hensley at 132 (pin in 1:11), Gabe Lewis at 138 (9-3), Nick Scarcello at 145 (pin in 2:33), Reid Miller at 152 (forfeit), Dom Trimboli at 160 (pin in 48 seconds) and Bill Sincere at 170 (forfeit).
The co-op fell to Neenah, 56-24; Hartford on a tiebreaker after a 33-33 dual; Green Bay Preble, 42-34; and Merrill, 38-34.
Trimboli was unbeaten in five matches and Scarcello in four matches. Finishing 4-1 were Hansen, Iverson, Hensley and Lewis, and winning records were posted by Wichgers and Miller.
Whitnall/Greendale completed Woodland Conference dual meets against rival Greenfield earlier this week and will prepare for the conference tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at home.