The Minnesota wrestling team’s season came to a ceremonial close on Sunday evening in Roseville at the annual team banquet. Boosters, fans, coaches and student-athletes gathered for dinner and a program that featured season highlights, individual team awards, recognition of letterwinners and speeches from ten departing seniors.
Following a highlight video to kick off the event, the Gopher coaching staff handed out a collection of awards to Gophers wrestlers that honored a variety of accomplishments ranging from academic, to attitude, to athletic achievement. A full list of the award winners appears below.
The evening wrapped up with a series of speeches, first from each of the team’s graduating seniors, including fourth and fifth-year seniors (Colin Carr, Faris Karaborni, Tijani Karaborni, Dalton Lunde, Chris Pfarr, Nate Rose, Jordon Rothers, Jake Short, Gannon Volk and Nick Wanzek). Head Coach Brandon Eggum closed the program with his own address that briefly recapped last season and detailed his vision for the program in the coming years including the new wrestling practice facility to be opening in the fall.
Team award winners on Sunday included:
- Upperclassmen Academic Award: Chris Pfarr
- Freshmen Academic Award: Hunter Marko
- Freshman of the Year: Dylan Anderson
- Most Falls: Mitch McKee
- Most Dedicated: Nick Wanzek
- Chris Berglin Most Improved: Brandon Krone
- Most Exciting Wrestler: Mitch McKee
- Fraser Dean Most Courageous: Steve Bleise
- Verne Gagne Leadership Award: Jake Short, Chris Pfarr, and Nick Wanzek
- Outstanding Wrestler: Ethan Lizak
Full list of 2017-18 Letterwinners: Dylan Anderson, Steve Bleise, Ben Brancale, Carson Brolsma, Colin Carr, Jose Champagne, Faris Karaborni, Tijani Karaborni, Brandon Krone, Ethan Lizak, Dalton Lunde, Hunter Marko, Mitch McKee, Chase O’Connor, Miles Patton, Skyler Petry, Chris Pfarr, Steve Polakowski, Nate Rose, Jake Short, Bobby Steveson, Rylee Streifel, Nate Thomas, Tommy Thorn, Gannon Volk, Nick Wanzek and Owen Webster
With the team banquet now in the books, the Gophers are fully into offseason mode as wrestlers train for freestyle and Greco competitions and team sets its sights toward the 2017-18 NCAA season, which will kick off in November.