It hasn't happened since 2009, and it certainly doesn't happen very often with a team that is fielding a lineup of nine freshmen and sophomores. But the Oak Creek wrestling team turned in an impressive effort and won the Tom Burns Memorial Invitational at Marquette on Saturday.
"The kids wrestled their hearts out," Knights coach Matt Sommerville said. "I can't say enough good things about this team. We are fielding nine freshmen and sophomores, and they are performing like upperclassmen."
It was the first tourney title for Oak Creek since 2009, and the timing of the effort couldn't be better for the Knights. They prepare to host arch rival Franklin at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 in a pivotal Southeast Conference dual meet.
"I'm really proud of this team and can't wait for our next competition," Sommerville said.
The Knights recorded four individual titles en route to a 233 point total at the Burns. Greendale was a distant second with 143.5, and Whitefish Bay third with 128.
Claiming titles for Oak Creek were Isaiah Robinson at 120 pounds (8-2), Ben Hakes at 160 (10-0), Ross Agg at 182 (6-3) and Jake Regazzi at 195 (8-2).
Robinson defeated Lake Mills, Milwaukee Washington and Greendale opponents for his title, winning the championship on a 4-1 decision.
Hakes, whom Sommerville expects to be state-ranked in the coming weeks, downed Pewaukee, Palmyra/Eagle and Greendale (pin 1:36) foes for his championship.
Agg downed Greendale and Pewaukee (pin 4:50) grapplers for his title, and Regazzi beat Lake Mills, Bay and and Marquette (pin 2:22) foes.
Taking seconds were Andrew McIntosh at 126 (9-1), Sean LaBodda at 138 (8-2), Nick Gottfried at 220 (7-3) and Kevin Bohigas at 285 (4-5). McIntosh, a state qualifier last year for Oak Creek, was wrestling up a class and lost a 14-4 major decision to a tough Milwaukee Riverside opponent.
LaBodda lost his final by a tight score of 2-1 to Pius' unbeaten Quinn Burzynski.
Other placewinners for the Knights included Mitch Landgraf in fourth at 106 (7-4), Matt Berlin in third at 113 (8-3), Josiah Wolf in third at 132 (5-6), Nate Mlodzik in third at 145 (7-4) and Emilio Paez in fourth at 170 (3-9).
Paez lost his quarterfinal match to the eventual champion from Bay, but then recorded three straight pins in the backdraw before losing to a Riverside opponent, 3-2.
Sommerville was not surprised at the effort.
"I expected our team to come out on top, because of the way they have been wrestling all year," he said. "These guys have battled against some of the top teams in the state and have kept it very close."
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