New Warhawks coach likes what he sees on the mat

Thielke leads team with high expectations

Dec. 7, 2009

Germantown — The tight little fraternity that involves current Homestead wrestling coach Barry Bernstein and the North Shore Conference just got a new member, as former Germantown state place-winner Casey Gabrielson takes his post as the new head coach of an experienced team at his old school this season.

"The (practice) room is a little smaller than I remember, but it's been going good so far," said Gabrielson, who takes over from Chris Weiss. "We got a good start in the off-season as 15 or so of the guys came in consistently three days a week. They have extremely high expectations."

Bernstein, who also coached at Germantown and Whitefish Bay, helped Gabrielson to a third-place finish at 119 pounds for the Warhawks in the 2001 state meet. He couldn't be happier for his protégé, who is the fifth former athlete of his to go into the coaching ranks.

In the North Shore, Jeremy Boehlke is also heading up the Milwaukee Lutheran program and Jason Olejniczak is assisting Bernstein in his current job at Homestead.

Coaches are competitive

"I'm certain that Casey will bring very good things to the program," Bernstein said. "He will definitely put his imprint on it. When we get together (for a dual at Germantown on Jan. 28), there'll be 14 weight classes between us, but also something more. It'll probably be a lot of fun as both of us are pretty competitive."

Gabrielson, who has seven years of coaching experience behind him in Hawaii (he lived there three years) and with the Ringers Club in Kewaskum, got his Germantown run off to a largely positive start last week. The Warhawks lost their North Shore opener Dec. 3 to multi-time league champ Port Washington but then came back to take second in the Kiel Duals on Saturday.

The new coach will have some talent at his disposal, as two-time state champ Jesse Thielke, a junior, will return. Thielke, who had another fine summer of national and international wrestling, is currently grappling at 130 pounds.

"He looks very smooth, looks very good right now," said Gabrielson.

Building on returnees

Other returnees include North Shore Conference champion Zach Baus (119) and league runner-ups Daniel Krause (152) and Brian Kuhlenbeck (140). Joe Multerer, who was third at 285 last season, returns to hold down the position again while Cody Falls will be a leader at 135 for the Warhawks.

Freshmen that Gabrielson has high hopes for include Brandon Goesch at 103, Tyler Palzkill at 112 and Tyler Baran at 152.

In the Kiel meet, the Warhawks defeated Elkhart Lake (69-12), Kiel (39-37), Princeton (63-6) and West Bend West (45-36). Their only loss was to eventual champ Denmark (43-28).

Germantown will visit Whitefish Bay in a 7:30 p.m. dual Thursday and then will be at the Menomonee Falls' Marlett Invitational at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

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