Gophers wrestling commit Gavin Nelson is one of state’s top running backs

Everything about Gavin Nelson screams tough, physical and relentless.

The 210-pound senior is one of the top high school wrestling recruits in the nation. He’s built strong and sturdy — as can be said for most Simley High School wrestlers.

That sentiment holds up when you give him the ball on the football field, as well. Tackling the rugged running back is nearly as difficult as taking him down on the mat.

How would Spartans coach Chris Mensen describe him on the field?

“Bruising. Absolutely bruising,” he said. “He punishes defenses who try to tackle him one on one.” Continue reading at →

International teams accept berths at World Cup

United World Wrestling has confirmed that all of the international teams which qualified to compete in the 2022 Men’s and Women’s Freestyle World Cup have accepted their berths. This exciting international competition will be held at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa, Dec. 10-11.

The top five teams in men’s freestyle and the top five teams in women’s freestyle from the 2022 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in September were invited, and have confirmed their participation.

The World Cup is the annual international dual meet championships. This will be the first time in history that the men’s freestyle World Cup and the women’s freestyle World Cup events will be held side-by-side.

In men’s freestyle, the teams which will compete are (in rank order): 1. USA; 2. Iran; 3. Japan; 4. Mongolia; 5. Georgia.

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National Girls High School Rankings

Preseason National Girls High School Rankings Released, Pound-For-Pound Rankings Updated

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, USA Wrestling, and FloWrestling have released the Preseason National Girls High School Rankings for the 2022-23 season. This national ranking evaluates all girls enrolled in grades 8-12, and athletes from all 50 states are eligible for selection.

Last year’s high school graduates have been removed, and many new athletes have joined the rankings for the first time, including eligibility for incoming eighth graders.

The event which clearly had the most impact on the rankings was the record-setting 2022 USMC Junior and 16U Nationals in Fargo, N.D. in July, which set entry records in both age divisions and featured spectacular competition in all weight divisions. The rankings also included the U17 and U20 World Championships, the U15 Pan American Trials, and the launch of the new season, FloWrestling’s Who’s Number One.

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Gophers football: Danny Striggow blends toughness of wrestler with a volunteer’s compassion

Danny Striggow’s interception against Michigan State on Saturday was big on multiple levels.

The Gophers defensive end from Long Lake, Minn., dissected the Spartans’ screen pass and stuck out his left hand to made a pick that helped Minnesota pull away for its first Big Ten win, 34-7.

It further showed the U’s standard hasn’t slipped after uber-athletic rush end Boye Mafe was drafted in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks in April. Striggow leads the team with two sacks, plus has three hurries and five total tackles across four games.

The big play was also personal and served as a climax for a family reunion. Striggow made the play in front of about 45 family members and friends in East Lansing, Mich. His mother Michelle attended Michigan State; his father Jeff was a gymnast at Western Michigan; and his older brothers Jackson and Bobby have wrested at the University of Michigan. Continue reading at →

Trust The Process – Alan Koehler

By Brian Jerzak

Most repeat state champions start their varsity careers before high school. They don't all make trips to State in those first few years, but most have cracked the varsity lineup and are making noise – at least – in section tournaments. That was not the case for Prior Lake's two-time state champion Alan Koehler. It is not that he didn't have the talent; he didn't have the physical size.

Prior Lake Head Coach Joe Block and his staff struggled with how to handle their talented but undersized athlete.

"We had a few kids before Alan that came up through the middle school program that we thought could help us," Block said. "They were right around the minimum weight limit for 106, and it was hard on them. I think we did more damage to some of those kids than we did good. There is a huge jump between middle school and high school. As coaches, we thought we had something special with Alan. Let's not rush it and give him one more year to grow and get stronger."

Even when he finally met the varsity weight minimum as a freshman, Koehler didn't get the chance to compete for a state championship. He ended the season short of not only a state title but short of the state tournament.

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