from Saturday's Waukesha Freeman -
Quality, not quantity at Memorial
Gromacki fifth in state last year
WAUKESHA — The page has been turned.
The Catholic Memorial High School wrestling team will never have the quantity to match most of the schools in the Classic 8 Conference, so veteran coach Bill Young truly appreciates having quality, multi-sport athletes.
“In a school the size of ours, for us to be relevant in our conference, we have to have kids who play multiple sports,” Young said. “I don’t care if it’s football or baseball or track or whatever; that year-round conditioning and competition are so important.
“Our kids take a lot of pride in whatever season we’re in.”
The Crusaders finished sixth in the Classic 8 dual standings and posted an 8-10 dual record last season, and several of the ringleaders of that squad are back to provide the leadership core of this year’s team.
Senior captain Sam Gromacki, who will wrestle at 285 pounds, finished fifth in the Division 2 state tournament and wound up 39-11 as a junior. Senior captain Mikey Wurster, who will compete at 195, captured second place in the Classic 8 and finished 32-12 overall.
CMH’s other returning lettermen are senior John Anderson (152), a two-time sectional qualifier who finished 30-14 last season; senior Ronny Driscoll (220), who was sidelined in 2013-14 by a broken ankle; and junior Chris Else (120), a two-time sectional qualifier who went 30-11 as a sophomore.
“Our seniors will be our best kids,” Young said. “Gromacki had an excellent year, taking fifth in the state. Wurster also had a great year before getting dinged-up in sectionals.”
Young likes the potential of five newcomers: junior 182-pounder Matt Lechner, sophomore 152-pounder Tommy Fleming, sophomore 160-pounder Joe Reinecke and sophomore 170 pounders Steve Foley and Tony Wojnowski.
Many of the wrestlers who make up the Crusaders’ nucleus were members of the CMH football team, which shared the Classic 8 championship with Arrowhead, Muskego and Waukesha West and finished 9-3, advancing to Level 3 of the WIAA playoffs before falling to eventual Division 3 state champion Wisconsin Lutheran.
“Leverage and balance are so important in both football and wrestling,” Young said. “It’s still a transition to go from football to wrestling, and it’s great to have role models like ours who have done it. You can sell kids on what it takes to be successful in each sport, but it’s great when they can see kids who have done it.
“Anybody who watched the state football finals saw the (Blair) Mulholland kid from Kimberly and what a great running back he is. He is also an outstanding wrestler and was on a state place-winning relay team in track.
“The biggest thing we want our kids to do is get out and compete.”