Menomonee Falls wrestling coach Jim McMahon is a big-picture sort of guy who likes a little adventure in his life.
He works in and loves a sport that's very individual based, but he lives for great team results, such as the one the Indians got on Dec. 30 when they won the six-team Evansville/Albany Dual Meet Holiday Tournament.
'It was a very good day,' he said. 'We usually go to Northern Exposure (a big dual-meet tourney in Merrill) because we like the dual-meet format, but this (Evansville/Albany) was sort of a spur-of-the-moment decision. We wanted to get out of the area and see some good competition.
'We want the kids to understand the team concept. That even if they're having a bad day, they can still get wins to help the team. They can be a team player.'
The invite win was the first of the season for Falls and gives the Indians a boost heading into the heart of their schedule. They will host Brookfield East at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, in a Greater Metro Conference dual and then will head off to the Sauk Prairie Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 9.
'We want to keep everyone healthy and keep everything moving forward,' McMahon said, 'because we still have a lot of work to do.'
Falls went 5-0 to win the Evansville/Albany meet as the host school was second at 4-1 and Janesville Craig was third at 3-2.
The Indians beat Waterloo (78-3), Brodhead/Juda (52-18), Evansville/Albany (43-32), Little Chute (71-7) and Janesville Craig (49-24).
In the critical Evansville/Albany match, sophomore Alec Lind came from behind to pin his opponent at 120 pounds, while sophomore Jon Thomas at 160 and sophomore Logan Fallon at 285 also picked up big victories. Junior Kevin Staron at 138 had an opponent who won 44 matches last season on his back before falling.
The interesting thing about the meet victory for Falls was that as he has been doing during the regular season the last few seasons, McMahon mixed and matched his lineup for this tourney. That meant that despite holding out both junior state-level competitors Austin Lasanske and Matt Anderson, the Indians were still able to pull out the victory.
Turning in unbeaten marks for Falls were sophomore Tyler Gill at 106 pounds, senior Jerott Holz at 132 (16-1 overall), senior Cole Boram at 152 (15-5) and junior Brandon Schafer at 195 (16-1).
Other good efforts included junior Eric Wunsch 4-1 at 126, freshman Noah Dakouras 3-0 at 138, sophomore Curtis Flannick 4-1 at 170, junior Noah Hodgson 3-2 at 182 and senior Nate Fuiten 4-1 at 220.
'It was a perfect break,' said McMahon. 'The key for us is to develop depth. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores, and if they think they're key parts of the team, the entire practice room gets better. They feel like they matter. A lot of people think this is an individual sport, but I'll take a team full of good kids (and competitors) any day.'