Who Wants the SW Minnesota State Head Coaching Job?

And then there was one. There is just one final head coaching gig available in Division II right now. The promotion of three-time Division III finalist Bebeto Yewah to head coach at Davenport University means that only Southwest Minnesota State University is without a leader. The clock is ticking for the Mustangs to add a captain to steer this ship and we have seen no real sense of urgency thus far.

The Mustangs are coming off their best NCAA finish in the last 22 years. This is a program that will return All-Americans in sophomore Cade Steffen and super senior Jackson Ryan. Ryan became the first Mustang to reach the semifinals of the national tournament since Steffen’s father, Link, accomplished the feat in 1998 on his way to winning the only NCAA title for SMSU. This is a team that put two unseeded wrestlers onto the podium in this crazy season and will return them both. What a place to build from!

After the season, Southwest Minnesota State University athletics went through a bit of an upheaval, losing head coach Jesse Nelson and athletics director Chris Hmielewski. That is a recipe for, if not disaster, then at the very least apathy towards locking down a new Mustang coach. That being the case, I feel like I should just go ahead and make the program a perfect landing spot; I have even found them their new head coach.

Why Southwest Minnesota State University? Who better to sell SMSU than their last NCAA champion, Link Steffen? I asked him this question and here is what he had to say. Continue reading at intermatwrestle.com →

Iowa impresses with 40-23 final win over Oklahoma Outlaws Red to win Junior National Freestyle Duals

Minnesota Blue Places Third at Junior Duals

TULSA, Okla. – Iowa’s Junior men’s freestyle team looked strong over both days of the 2021 Junior Freestyle National Duals, but may have saved its best wrestling for the championship finals.

After dropping the first two bouts, Iowa won 10 of the final 13 matches, including some very close battles, to defeat returning champion Oklahoma Outlaws Red, 40-23.

The finals dual meet began at 138, where Carter Young of Oklahoma secured a controlled 4-1 decision over Joel Jesuroga of Iowa. Young scored a first-period takedown to lead 2-1 at the break, then added two second period step-outs after leg attacks to secure the win. Continue reading at teamusa.org →

Illinois wins Junior Greco-Roman Duals, Oklahoma second, Minnesota third, all with 4-1 record in finals pool

Coming into the 2021 Junior National Greco-Roman Duals, Illinois had won three straight team titles, including the most recent one held in 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling last year’s event, it would be a different group of wrestlers tasked with trying to make it four in a row for Illinois.

Although it wasn’t easy, and the team needed some help from another team, it was Illinois Junior Greco-Roman which had the championship trophy to pose early Thursday evening.

The six teams in the Gold/Silver pool each wrestled each other, with all of the teams getting five duals. After five rounds of action, Illinois Junior Greco-Roman, Minnesota Blue and host Oklahoma Outlaws Blue all finished with identical 4-1 records.

In short, the tiebreaker goes like this. The team with the least classification points is third, and that was Minnesota. Then, the head to head win by Illinois over Oklahoma gave Illinois the championship trophy. Continue reading at teamusa.org →

California wins Junior Women’s Duals; Illinois takes second

Minnesota goes 3-2 placing 9th overall

This year, the Gold/Silver pool at the Junior Women’s National Duals was a six-team round robin, which meant each team would wrestle each other with a total of five dual meets for each team. As the competition continued, it became apparent that the team champions would probably be determined when Pool A champion California met Pool C champion Illinois Junior Women in Round four.

On paper, the big showdown between returning Junior Women’s Duals national champion Illinois and perennial power California looked to be a toss-up. Illinois had nine nationally ranked wrestlers on the roster, with California bringing eight, and both teams looked strong in their first three Gold/Silver Pool dual meet wins.

The dual meet opened as if it was going to be a huge blow-out win for California, which won the first five matches, four by bonus points, to lead 21-1. California opened with a pair of pins from Maliya Castillo (180) and America Lopez (200). Lopez, ranked No. 17, pinned No. 12 Gainey in 4:48/ California added technical fall wins from No. 4 ranked Sam Calkins at 225 and No. 12 ranked Madison Avila to continue the great start. Continue reading at teamusa.org →

Core Values and Community

Terry Gorecki and Royalton-Upsala Wrestling

Since Terry Gorecki returned as head coach in 2016, the Royalton-Upsala Royals' wrestling program has been to four straight section finals and the last two state tournaments. To do that, the most important thing is to have the horses on the mat, but the rise of the Royals' program is based on two things – core values and community. Change either one of those foundations, and those four section finals don't happen.

Gorecki knew about the community aspect of wrestling early in his life.

"I started wrestling in Foley," Gorecki said. "I wrestled until tenth grade and decided to hang it up. Everyone wrestled in Foley, so I just did what everyone else did."

An old nemesis paved Gorecki's path back into wrestling.

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