Big Bear is back for a new year

CASS LAKE — The field for the Big Bear Wrestling Tournament has expanded to 39 teams for the 15th annual edition of the largest regular-season wrestling tournament in Minnesota.

This weekend’s tournament, held at Cass Lake-Bena High School and Middle School, has become a holiday mainstay for wrestling fans in northern Minnesota.

“It’s fun to see teams from down south and other teams that you never see,” said Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena coach Jay Reiplinger. “Half these teams aren’t in our class or you’d never see them. They’re from southern Minnesota or wherever so it’s fun to see some new faces and watch some really good wrestling.”

“It’s nice that it’s close to home,” said Bemidji coach Rance Bahr. “Our parents and families can come watch the kids wrestle. It’s very competitive. Once you get down to the last eight kids in the bracket, the tournament is very competitive and a lot of good kids come through there, much like the state tournament.” Continue reading at