Kroells named MWCA Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling; Skillings, Zimmer, and Block are Coaches of the Year

Michael Kroells of Scott West is this year’s Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling. He will be honored at the MWCA Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, April 28th in Benson, MN.

The MWCA annually presents the Mr. Minnesota High School Wrestler award to the senior that best exemplifies the highest ideals of high school wrestling in Minnesota. Judging is based on past performances, citizenship, academics, leadership, and adherence to MSHSL rules.

Michael Kroells of Scott West
Michael Kroells of Scott West

Kroells, who attends Belle Plaine High School, is a two-time state champion, a three-time finalist, and a four-time placewinner. He won the Class AA heavyweight title this year and the 215-pound title as a junior. Michael was runner-up at 189 pounds as a sophomore and he placed sixth at 189 pounds as a freshman. Kroells is a two-time Minnesota Christmas Tournament champion and a two-time Rumble on the Red Tournament champion.

Michael was a Scott West team captain as a junior and senior and he helped the Panthers place at state the last five seasons.

He ended his high school career with a 181-28 record, which included undefeated junior and senior seasons. His record was a dominating 137-4 in his last three seasons.

Kroells is a two-time cadet folkstyle national champion, two-time cadet freestyle All-American, Northern Plains Regional double champion, and a multiple-time MN/USA Wrestling state champion.

Other honors include a 4.0 GPA, MWCA Academic All-State, The Guillotine Academic All-State, 2012 Dream Team Classic team member, 2009 All-Clash Team, 2011 Minnesota Football Coaches Association Academic All-State, three-year all-conference for football, Belle Plaine’s ExCel Award winner, and Belle Plaine’s AAA Award winner.

Kroells will continue his wrestling and academic career in college next year at the University of Minnesota.

Michael’s parents are Lori Kroells, Larry Kroells and Laura Cunningham and his high school coaches are Darren Ripley and Jerold Stauffacher.

Also being honored at the Bartelma Hall of Fame Banquet will be Minnesota Coach of the Year selections: Class A – Joel Skillings of Minneota, Class AA – Randy Zimmer of Milaca, and Class AAA – Joe Block of Prior Lake. Assistant Coach of the Year is John Droubie of Cambridge-Isanti.

Lifetime Achievement honorees are Bill Durbahn of Mankato West, Don Krusemark of Mankato West, Jeff Lamphere of Minnetonka, Bruce Urbatch of Mankato East, and Randy Zimmer of Milaca.

2012 MWCA Bartelma Hall of Fame inductees are Gary Alexander, Luke Becker, Bill Hinchley, Dean Hiscocks, Duane Koslowski, Chuck Ofsthun, Jeff “Bro” Olsen, and Howard Schultz.

Mr. Minnesota Wrestler Winners