The Milton wrestling team returns back five of its nine wrestlers who qualified for the individual sectional meet last season, including state qualifier Riley Nilo.
Nilo, a sophomore, returns to the Red Hawks after he qualified for the state meet last season as a freshman at 106 pounds.
“Riley is a very talented guy — a quiet guy and a great human being, so I’m looking for him to be a leader by example this season,” Milton head coach Pat Jauch said. “I think he has a great opportunity to have an awesome season and will be looking down from the top of a podium at a lot of guys at the end of the season.”
Just like how Nilo found success his freshman season, brother Royce Nilo looks in line to have a successful freshman campaign after a decorated youth career. Most notably, he earned a gold medal at the International Freestyle Open Cup in France in 2018.
“When I think of Royce, I see a guy that really loves wrestling and loves to compete,” Jauch said. “I know he’ll have an immediate impact on our practice room — I’m really looking forward to that. Getting an intense kid in there that lives the right way and loves to battle is going to be great for our lower weights and everybody on the team.”
Milton brings back more talent than just the Nilo brothers at the underclass level.
Sophomore Hunter Kieliszewski fell a match short of the state meet last season at 113 pounds. Fellow sophomore Kade DeSormeau looks to be slotted in as another mainstay for Milton this season after he got lots of tread at 152 pounds last season.
Justin Sanchez and Trey Smith headline the junior class after both qualified for Milton’s sectional as sophomores.
The Red Hawks senior class will consist of Evan Schoen, Jordan Stivarius, Seth Haldiman, Travis Smith, Jordan Hergert, Johnny Bogner and Cayleb Schultz.
Just like last season, Milton, along with the rest of the state, will look to knock Stoughton from its throne. The Vikings consistently found themselves nationally ranked in the top 50 and won the WIAA Division 1 State Championship last season over Mukwonago.
“Stoughton has done a nice job the last few years. I like to focus on chasing that top team in the state — that’s where we want to be as a program,” Jauch said. “Stoughton is that program right now, so closing the gap between us and them will definitely be a focus, because if we can catch them, we’ll also be beating some other really tough teams along the way and improving ourselves consistently.”
Whether or not the Red Hawks can catch the Vikings this season, it at least looks like Milton is trending in the right direction in 2019-2020.
“I’m looking forward to a really exciting season,” Jauch said. “I really think our program is trending upward, and if we train right, live right, and stay healthy, we will have a really great season.
“I expect, as always, to win and win a lot. We haven’t had our best teams results-wise the last two years, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Most importantly, my plan is that everybody associated with our program, wrestlers and coaches, will have a great experience and grow in many ways throughout the season.”