Parker wrestlers eye repeat title
The Vikings won the school’s 22nd dual meet conference title, and first since 1999, then added the Big Eight tournament title to its collection.
With nine varsity wrestlers returning, including three conference champions, long-time coach Ron Cramer is hoping for a repeat performance.
“Usually, the Thanksgiving holiday and deer-hunting season take their toll on us,” Cramer said. “That hasn’t been the case this year. The kids are working hard, and we’re excited to get the season underway.”
The Vikings open Friday when they host the Parker Multi-Dual Tournament. Parker, Beloit Memorial, Lake Geneva Badger, Madison La Follette and Milwaukee King are expected to compete.
Leading the Vikings’ list of returnees are seniors Harold Lloyd and Ryan Holden, along with sophomore Evan Cavey. Lloyd, an Associated Press first-team all-state football selection as an offensive and defensive linenman, was a state qualifier a year ago at 285 pounds and will compete at that weight class again this season. He’s the defending conference champion and should be primed for a big season, his coach said.
“Harold’s a big, strong kid who seems to have gotten even bigger and stronger this year,” Cramer said. “If he would’ve wrestled his whole life, you’d be talking about a Division I wrestling scholarship as well as a football one.
“He’s very athletic, and when you combine that with his size and strength, it makes him a very tough opponent.”
Holden is a two-time conference champion and likely will start the season at 112 pounds. He could move up to 119 and switch with Cavey, but Cramer said he would like to keep Holden at 112.
“Ryan works as hard on the mat as anyone we have,” Cramer said of Holden. “He’s had a chance to get to state the last couple of years, but he seems to always end up in a really tough weight class at the sectional meet.”
Cavey has the opportunity to ultimately win four conference championships after claiming the 103 title a year ago as a freshman.
Other returning varsity wrestlers are senior Dustin Rucinski, 125; sophomore Josh Lindaas, at 135; senior Alex Folk, 140; senior Joe Ramirez, 145; junior David Arndt, 160; senior Enio Perez, 171; and senior Lewis Lobrano, 189.
“We’ve got some flexibility with some kids, and that’s going to help us,” Cramer said. “We’ll have the opportunity to move some kids up or down a weight class depending on who we’re wrestling against.
“I think we’re a little ahead of where we usually are this time of year,” Cramer said. “We got a good number of kids out, and that helps, especially with practice.”
Despite the experience returning, there are some holes to fill in the lineup, Cramer said. Freshman Brennan Casey-Schmidt will start at 103, while junior Jacob Bailey gets the nod at 152.
Sophomore Travis Rucinski will open at 130, and junior Cody St. Michael is slated to start at 135. Completing the lineup will be junior Matt Houchin or senior Cameron Hanson at 215.
NOVEMBER: 30—Parker Multi Duals, 5 p.m.
DECEMBER: 7—At Middleton, 7 p.m.; 14—Madison Memorial, 7 p.m.; 21—At Janesville Craig, 7 p.m.; 28—At Mid-States Classic (UW-Whitewater), 10:00 a.m; 29—At Mid-States Classic, 10 a.m.
JANUARY: 8—At Beloit Memorial, 7 p.m.; 12—Elkhorn Invitational, 10 a.m.; 15—Madison East, 7 p.m.; 18—At Madison West, 7 p.m.; 19—Wisconsin Dells Invitational, 8 a.m.; 25—Sun Prairie, 7 p.m.; 26—Pewaukee Invitational, 10 a.m.
FEBRUARY: 1—Big Eight meet (Middleton), 4:30 p.m.