Lake Geneva twins’ seasons involve surprising success, cruel disappointment
LAKE GENEVA Twins are known for having an innate sense of what the other is feeling and thinking.
Yet not even the closest set of twins could fathom what has transpired this wrestling season for Lake Geneva Badger’s Rory and Randy Shine.
Rory missed the majority of the season before returning from a hip injury at the Southern Lakes Conference meet earlier this month. He finished second at the conference meet but won a regional and sectional title to earn a state berth at 152 pounds.
Twin brother Randy is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Randy, sixth at state a year ago, was cruising along this season with a 35-0 record at 138 pounds. He tweaked his right knee during practice leading up to the Team Sectional and ended up with an infection in his bursa sac that eventually spread to his blood stream. Randy had surgery to remove the bursa sac, but with eight staples in his knee, was forced to miss the sectional meet and a chance to wrestle with his brother at state.
“It’s very bittersweet for those two,” Badger coach Shane Koehl said of the Shines. “Here you have Rory, who wasn’t expected to be able to wrestle at all this year, making it back before he was told he could and making it to state.
“And there’s Randy, who hadn’t been scored on all season except for when he let someone go to work on his takedowns, suffering a freak injury that turned out to be very serious.
“It just goes to show you that you just never know.”
Rory got an infection in his hip as a baby. When the hip kept giving him trouble as he got older, a trip to the doctor resulted in a bleak diagnosis—arthritis, and in the words of his doctor, ‘the hip of a 67-year old.’ He had surgery over the summer to replace the hip, but was told wrestling was not an option this season. Rory was finally given the approval to wrestle in late January after his doctor determined the hip was strong enough. He takes an 8-2 record into today’s opening-round bout against Burlington’s Cody Elsbury—who defeated Rory in the title match at the Southern Lakes tournament.
“Rory’s got a chance to place at state,” Koehl said. “His conditioning gets better each and every match, and he gets the opportunity right away in his first match to wrestle someone who beat him earlier. That’s a big motivator.
“It’s just a shame Randy won’t get the chance to join him.”
Badger senior Taylor Hildebrandt (42-5) at 195 and senior Robert Johnson (34-12) at 220 will join Rory Shine at state.
The Milton Red Hawks will have their usual strong contingent at state. Three wrestlers qualified for state, and none have been more dominating than Nolan Shea.
Since dropping down to 106 for tournament competition, the sophomore has steamrolled his competition in winning regional and sectional titles in running his season record to 34-5.
Senior Kyle Hinners (30-6) and senior Avery Sweeney (28-8) also qualified for state for Milton at 138 and 182, respectively.
Brodhead/Juda’s Hunter Colden leads the list of area Division 2 qualifiers. The senior takes a 47-0 record into Friday’s quarterfinal bout at 170 pounds. Colden will be joined at state by teammate Logan Maurer, a sophomore, who is 45-2 at 285.
Walworth Big Foot senior Garrett Cary is also in the 285-pound bracket. The North Dakota University football recruit is 11-0 after missing most of the season with a leg injury.
East Troy, led by unbeaten and top-ranked Joey Dedick (43-0) at 195, has four wrestlers competing.
Daniel Loomer (113) and Cody Chelminiak (126) qualifed for Delavan-Darien, while Evansville/Albany freshman Jordan Meyer takes a 29-6 record into his opening-round match at 132.
Orfordville Parkview’s duo of Alex Hauri (132) and Justin Graham (182) are both medal contenders in Division 3. Graham, a senior, has a 43-2 record and wrestles Ladysmith’s Mike Niles in today’s opening-round bout.
Hauri, also a senior, is 38-5 and faces Matt Massman of Blair-Taylor in his opening-round match today.