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These kids are going to be actuaries, businessmen, nurses, engineers, accountants or in the case of Eric Wunsch, maybe an Air Force pilot.

They are the seniors of the Greater Metro Conference championship wrestling team from Menomonee Falls.

They call themselves a "brotherhood." Many are old hands at this physically grueling sport (126-pounder Austin Lasanske is a three-time GMC champion), newcomers (soccer star Ryan Callan taking a turn at 182 pounds) or people who took time off from the sport who have come back with a vengeance (195-220-pounder Donald Eruchalu).

They, like Callan, welcome "the family feel of everything," or in the case of 195-220-pounder Brandon Schaefer, they just like "messing around with my boys."

They have fought through injuries and low numbers, and they have been patient (Schaefer missed almost the entire season with a knee injury from football but made it back to win the 220 title in the GMC tourney on Feb. 3 at Hamilton).

"There were times this season where I thought the Band-Aids would come off this thing, but the kids kept it all together," said coach Jim McMahon.

Like senior Matt Anderson said, it's about "embracing the grind."

Humble win

In short, they just don't know when to quit, and that's why when their dominant GMC tournament effort was completed on Feb. 3 behind individual titles from Anderson at 120, Lasanske at 126, Wunsch at 132, Schaefer at 220 and junior Logan Fallon at 285, there was no wild celebration.

"It was like 'congratulations,' 'nice job' and then go on from there," McMahon said. "Win humbly."

Because there is still more work to do. The Indians will host a WIAA regional meet at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. The top four individuals in each weight class will advance to the individual sectional tournament at Oconomowoc on Saturday, Feb. 18. In addition, the team regional champion will advance to a dual meet against the winner of the Nicolet regional on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Pewaukee for the right to advance to the WIAA state team tournament. Falls has advanced to the state team tournament in three out of the last four seasons, including last year.

Powers like Pewaukee and Arrowhead will stand in the way of the red-hot Indians at the regional. Falls has won three of its last four tournaments this season.

"We like hosting, so we'll just go out there and have some fun," McMahon said.

As they did at the GMC tournament, which they won for the fourth time in five years with an impressive total of 246 points, with West Allis Hale a distant second (164).

Balanced effort

Falls won the title with impressive balance, as they not only had five champions but also a total of nine finalists and 12 wrestlers out of 14 who finished in the top three. They also had a total of 16 pins, racking up many bonus points for their efforts.

"It was a very good night," McMahon said. "This is never easy, it's always hard. Everybody wants to win the tournament, and sometimes the best teams don't win, and we had some kids who were sick, but they weren't going to be denied."

Especially the seven seniors: Anderson, Lasanske, Wunsch, Josh McMahon (160), Callan, Eruchalu (195) and Schaefer (220).

Schaefer was the special case. He just got cleared by doctors a few weeks ago, but coach McMahon noted the doctor was still unsure whether Schaefer should wrestle at all.

"I felt so bad for Brandon when he got hurt," said coach McMahon, "but super happy for what happened today. He's a top-notch student and citizen for the school. He did everything he could in rehab and made his way back."

Schaefer pinned Brookfield Central (5:09) and West Allis Central (3:10) opponents. Coach McMahon thought about pulling him from the final as a precaution but said Schaefer "would have none of that." Schaefer then went out and rallied to beat Brookfield East's Caleb Wright, 10-7, for his second individual GMC title.

The other seniors emulated his effort. Lasanske, the three-time champ, dominated the 126 bracket, as after a bye, he pinned Hale (0:44) and Hamilton (3:35) opponents for his crown.

Anderson claimed his second title with a pin over an East opponent (2:24) and a 13-3 major decision over a West Allis Central foe. Wunsch, who was the 2016 GMC Wrestler of the Year, was methodical in his efforts, downing Hale (6-0 decision) and East (6-1) opponents for his second GMC crown.

Fallon was a first-time champion, as after a bye, he pinned West Allis Central (2:43) and Hamilton (3:41) foes.

Earning runner-up spots were freshman Ethan Pogorzelski at 106, sophomore Noah Dakouras at 138, junior Jon Thomas at 170 and Eruchalu at 195. Coach McMahon was very proud of Eruchalu, who fought off a series of migraines to compete in the tournament.

Thirds went to sophomore Ben Heitman at 145, sophomore Henry Hansen at 152 and Josh McMahon at 160. Coach McMahon was very happy for Heitman and Hansen, who filled in the gaps of the Falls lineup nicely. Alec Lind was fourth at 113.

In short, it was a very good night for the "brotherhood."

"I was super happy for the seniors," said coach McMahon. "To win both the (GMC) dual meet and tournament title is very hard, but we had 12 kids finish third or higher, and I was also really pleased for the younger guys who helped out."

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