Menomonee Falls - The opportunity has not been there for seven years and now here it is right in front of the wrestling team.
Courtesy of a 40-25 win over West Allis Central on Jan. 17, the Indians will host West Allis Hale on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for the Greater Metro Conference dual meet title. If they win, it would be the first league title for Falls since 2006.
'The kids have worked hard for this,' Falls coach Jim McMahon said. 'We're very close. It's going to be an interesting week. We have (semester) exams so it's going to be hard for the kids to stay mentally prepared, but I know they're excited for this opportunity.
'We know that they're tough,' McMahon continued. 'We're going to need pins and we're going to have to avoid getting pinned.'
Falls, which also sent a mixed team to the Homestead Highlander Invite last Friday and finished fifth, will need some luck on the coin flip, to see which weight class the meet starts at.
The Indians had that luck against Central. It was designated to start at 195 pounds, so McMahon bumped 2012 state qualifier Ayoola Olapo up from 182 and he responded with a technical fall. That started a pivotal run for the Indians, as Matt Alili got vengeance for an earlier loss with a decision at 220 and then Trayvon Handy continued to show improvement at 285 with a pin in the second period.
Then at 106, Aaron Daly dominated an opponent he had barely beaten before and won with a technical fall.
At that point, Falls was up 19-0 and was well on its way to victory.
Other individual wins for the Indians went to Jerrot Holz at 120 (pin), Bill Holz at 126 (technical fall) and to Sam Schwabenlander at 145, Jon Haririe at 152 and Alex Koch at 160.
It marked the second victory for Falls over Central this year.
'It's always a tough match against them,' McMahon said, 'but the kids responded well, even though they had changed their line up.'
To protect the health of certain wrestlers, McMahon ran in a mixed line up of seven starters and seven non-starters in the Highlander meet and the Indians responded with a solid effort.
Schwabenlander (19-10 overall) had the best finish going 4-1 for second on the evening with three pins. Tyler Simcock was third at 152 (3-1, 7-3) while Brian Bonesho was fourth at 113 (3-2, 16-12) and Jake Fuiten was fifth at 170 (4-1, 23-10) as was Casey Crangle at 126 (4-1, 21-11).