Family, Farming and Wrestling – The Carlson Legacy in Willmar

By Brian Jerzak

Family and wrestling go together like ice cream and apple pie. All across the state of Minnesota, the wrestling landscape is littered with families steeped in wrestling history. The Short family, the Morgan family, the Thorn and the Ness families, just to name a few, have produced multiple high-level wrestlers. They are families that get the sport of wrestling in their blood, and it never gets out.

The connection between wrestling and family is similar to the connection between family and farming. Generations of families work family farms. Often the home and farm are passed down from one generation to the next. Once farming gets in a family's blood, like wrestling, it is hard to get it out.

Few families in Minnesota encapsulate the strong bond between family, farming and wrestling more than the Carlson family from Willmar.

"Our dad (Curtney) wrestled for Willmar back in the 1950's," Chad Carlson said, "and graduated from Willmar High School in 1957. He got us started in it. It wasn't like he was pushing us one way or the other, but I think he thought it would be a good thing to get us into."

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