Two Warriors, One Champion

State wrestling tournaments are personal. No accomplished wrestler wants to finish a career without winning at least one. Winning a national tournament like the Ironman or Fargo is much more prestigious. After all, the college recruiters and rankers are all over these events. State titles are nice, but those national titles are what puts a wrestler on the map. But to the wrestler, he has to win a state championship. It’s the one event that’s guaranteed every passionate fan in his state will be planted in the seat. All his peers are in the tunnel. His family and most of the town takes up a section of the arena. It’s a must-win event.

Sadly we have entered an era where wrestlers are able to dodge one another. With the three classes in Minnesota, it makes it unusual to have a big showdown. Usually during the finals, one can hear the fans wonder out loud how the champion from Class A would do against the champion from Class AAA. Furthermore, with 14 weight classes it’s somewhat easy to either move up or down to avoid an opponent. This year Minnesota had only one weight class in the entire individual tournament that featured returning state champions. Here’s where the road takes a different twist. These two guys wanted to wrestle one another! Continue reading at