Three days in Fargo with Alex Lloyd

The amount of wrestling tournaments keeps growing every year. The big ones like the Ironman, Beast of the East, and The Clash are getting infiltrated by events like Who’s Number One, Beat the Streets and Preseason Nationals. The sport is becoming a little watered down and winning a national event doesn’t carry the same weight it did a decade ago. It seems like every state has a tournament and it gets harder every year to determine which wrestler is the best in the class. Then, if you throw in the travel restrictions each state has for in-season folkstyle, it becomes almost impossible to really know what athletes are the very best. And then there’s Fargo. This event has one year left on its contract, and if it moves, who knows what it will be called. But make no mistake, this is the battle for the national championship and there is no other event that comes close to this meat grinder. Most brackets are full of state champions and those that will be. Winning a title here is, without a doubt, the most prestigious accomplishment in high school wrestling.

Six summers in a row I have looked for a wrestler with a Minnesota connection that has a decent chance of becoming a champion to follow and write about. I’ve had some great candidates over the years. Brandon Kingsley and Jake Short came within a match of getting on the big stage. Tommy Thorn, Fredy Stroker, and Griffin Parriott each won the title the year after I followed them. I’m still referred to as the jinx and if I choose a wrestler, it’s almost a lock they will win it the next year. Still not one of them has made it to the championship match. Maybe this will be the year. Continue reading at