By Jeff Beshey
It’s not often you get the opportunity to learn from one of the world’s greatest. But for the Annandale/Maple Lake wrestling team, that opportunity became a reality earlier this week when Kyle Dake was in town to take over a Lightning wrestling practice and impart some wisdom to the local community.
Kyle Dake, for those that don’t know, is a three-time and current world champion wrestler for the United States. He won a Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer and was a four-time NCAA champion (at four different weights) wrestling for Cornell.
Dake ran the ANML wrestling practice on Wednesday and spoke to students at Maple Lake High School and Annandale High School.
“He was an amazing clinician and great with the wrestlers,” said Annandale/Maple Lake Head Wrestling Coach Ben Youngs. “He interacted and joked, and he had their full attention for two hours. Several kids said they got things out of it – and he covered all three positions.”
“He started practice at 3:30, ended at 5:30, took pictures and signed autographs, then showed off a little to the Annandale gymnastics team by showing them some flips and moves,” said Coach Youngs.
The ANML coaches and some alumni and former coaches went out to dinner with Dake at Bait and Hook in Cokato.
You might wonder how this opportunity came about. “One of our wrestlers has a grandfather who is a friend of the Dake family, and they arranged the whole thing,” said Coach Youngs.