Nick Wilkes, the head wrestling coach at Itasca Community College broke the ice today in his first recruiting year with ICC. Signing National Letters of Intent with the Vikings are Noah Landrus of Aitkin, Kolton Eischens of Pierz, Kevin Brockner of Mora, Wyatt Fitterer of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, and Ken Kastenbauer of Mora. Fitterer has committed to both football and wrestling at ICC.
Coach Wilkes expressed how big of a step forward this was for the program since he participated himself on the ICC wrestling team under Coach Shane Holm back in 2005. “I’m very excited to be recruiting and coaching for Itasca since it was the same route I took,” said Coach Wilkes.
Noah Landrus of Aitkin was a state champion in class A at 160 pounds this year and placed fourth in 2015. He was a state entrant in 2013 and 2014. Landrus said after signing his letter of intent, “one’s success comes after their greatest disappointments.” Noah is projected to wrestle in the 165-174 range next season.
Kolton Eischens of Pierz placed third in state this year at 152 pounds class A. Eischens is a four-time state entrant finishing second in 2014 and fifth in 2015. He had 197 career wins with 95 pins.
Ken Kastenbauer of Mora graduated in 2013. Kastenbauer placed third in his section twice. Coach Wilkes said, “Ken is my sleeper pick. I remember watching Ken back when I coached for Mille Lacs and Ken was a stud. He needs to knock some rust off but Ken will not be the last to sign on with Itasca for guys that have been out of the sport for a while.” Kastenbauer is projected to compete at 141 pounds.
Kevin Brockner of Mora was a 2016 state entrant. He placed third at The Big Bear and was third in freestyle state in 2015.
Brockner and Kastenbauer’s coach Tom Youngbloom said, “Kevin and Ken are diamonds in the rough for coach Wilkes and the historical Itasca Wrestling Program. I am excited to see what Coach Wilkes can do with their raw talent and excitement they have for wrestling.”
Wyatt Fitterer of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva was the 2016 state runner-up at heavyweight in class A. He is hoping to All-American this year in both Greco and Freestyle. Fitterer was a state entrant in 2013. “Wyatt was a huge bonus and surprise to me as the football coach walked him into the room for an introduction,” said coach Wilkes. “I was lucky enough to watch him compete in his finals match at state and am very excited to have him on the team next year.”
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