Built On Family – Totino-Grace Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

In the real world, people tend to gravitate toward others with similar interests. Socializing with people with similar interests is more comfortable and often more convenient. Also, in the real world, kids often acquire some of the interests of their parents. It is a natural thing – if a child sees their parent enjoying something, that child is usually going to at least take an initial interest. Like their parents before them – kids often find an appreciation for art, music, the outdoors, or a million other things because their parents expose them to it. Sports – specifically a passion for an individual sport – also often starts because of what kids see from their parents.

Most successful high school athletic programs have an element of family. Wrestling is no different. Programs across the state are littered with kids whose fathers and grandfathers wrestled. This is not a new phenomenon. However, one of the most successful seasons in the history of the Totino-Grace Eagles’ wrestling program was built on an extreme version of wrestling family ties.

The 2023-24 Eagles – who took home the Class AA third-place trophy (shared with the Becker Bulldogs) – were built on family.

“We had a close-knit team,” Totino-Grace head wrestling coach Doug Svihel said. It was a team we had been building for a few years. The team included five sets of brothers. Four sets of brothers were consistently on varsity.”

Having that many brothers ramped up the intensity in the Eagles’ wrestling room.

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