The 2021 edition of the MWCA All-State Academic Wrestling Team consists of some of the state’s best wrestlers who are also great students. This group of student-athletes has won 23 state titles, over 4400 matches, and an astounding 82% winning percentage. Each year, the MWCA seeks the state’s top wrestlers, who are also great students. “We are looking for wrestlers that emphasize the student in student-athlete and also get it done on the mat!” commented Joe Puncochar, MWCA All-State Academic Chairperson, “The 28 wrestlers selected this year were from a pool of 145 wrestlers nominated across the state by members of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.
This year’s team is led by top point scorer, state champion Jaxson Rohman from Fairmont/Martin County West, who has over 200 wins and a 3.83 GPA. He was joined by Ryan Sokol and Quayin Short of Simley, Cael Swenson of Wayzata, and Derrick Cardinal of Forest Lake, who all have amassed over 200 career victories. There were also four student-athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA: Quinn McCalla of Monticello, Christian Noble of Big Lake, Nick Novak of New Prague, and Carson Tschudi of Delano. “The accomplishments of this group are more than impressive.”
This year’s team includes the following state champions: Cardinal, Noble, Rohman, Sokol, Swenson, Blake West of Shakopee, Derek Steele of Sibley East, Chase DeBlaere of Simley, Drayden Morton of Sibley East, Cael Berg of Simley, Gabe Nagel of Little Falls, Tyson Meyer of Minnewaska, Roman Rogotzke of Stillwater, and Bennett Tabor of Simley. Leading the pack is Junior Bennett Berge of Kasson-Mantorville, with three state championships to his credit.
The members of this team are selected by using the following criteria:
- Cumulative GPA – example: 3.95 x 2 = 790 points
- Overall matches wrestled – wins and losses – 1 point per match
- Winning percentage – 77% = 77 points
- State Tournament Participation – 25 points per year
- State Tournament Placement – 1st (50 points), 2nd (40), 3rd (35), 4th (25), 5th (20), and 6th (10)
In this year’s edition, class AA led the way with 14 honorees, followed by Class AAA with eight members, and six members represented a. This year’s group was made up of individuals from 23 schools. Simley had a stellar group of student-athletes, landing five wrestlers on the squad. Sibley East had a pair of state champions that are also great students. Eight student-athletes earned the award for the second year in a row. These members were West, Steele, Nagel, Meyer, Cardinal, Rohman, Landen Johnson of Owatonna, and Daniel Erlandson of Breckenridge.
“There were many great nominees this year. The state’s coaches nominated the most student-athletes since 2015, and many deserving wrestlers were left off this year’s squad,” Puncochar said. “It’s great to see so many wrestlers not only excelling on the mat but also having serious success in the classroom.” Despite dealing with the strange year, these wrestlers combined to post an average cumulative GPA of 3.70. With 22 seniors selected, next year’s team will have a lot of new faces. Across the state, Minnesota has some very dedicated student-athletes who excel in multiple areas of school. These accolades indicate they are set up for success in their futures, whatever they choose to do.
The MWCA will award the 28 honorees plaques during the postseason.
Wt. Class Wrestler, School
106 Isaac Walch, Plainview-Elgin-Millville
106 Andrew Joedeman Dassel Cokato-Litchfield
113 Blake West, Shakopee
113 Quinn McCalla, Monticello
120 Christian Noble, Big Lake
120 Zach Brown, Crookston
126 Jaxson Rohman, Fairmont/MCW
126 Derek Steele, Sibley East
132 Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
132 Drayden Morton, Sibley East
138 Chase DeBlaere, Simley
138 Marshall Peters, Rochester Mayo
145 Nick Novak, New Prague
145 Carson Tschudi, Delano
152 Ryan Sokol, Simley
152 Cael Swenson, Wayzata
160 Cael Berg, Simley
160 Jack Fudge, Perham
170 Landen Johnson, Owatonna
170 Carter Sorenson, Fosston-Bagley
182 Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
182 Gabe Nagel, Little Falls
195 Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska
195 Roman Rogotzke, Stillwater
220 Quayin Short, Simley
220 Quinn Christopherson, South St. Paul
Hwt. Bennett Tabor, Simley
Hwt. Daniel Erlandson, Breckenridge