A Program and Community on the Rise – Stillwater Wrestling

High school wrestling is a sport of numbers. Get that last takedown, extend the margin of victory, work hard for the pin, fight off your back; it all helps your team win. All those numbers lead to team victories. Numbers drive youth, middle school, and varsity success as well. The more wrestlers that try the sport, the better chance of finding the right kids to help the team. Stillwater head coach Tim Hartung has numbers in all the right places. Possibly the most important number is his number of community members that have gotten involved in Stillwater’s rising program.

Growing up in Wisconsin, Hartung’s start in the sport was an escape, an escape from doing his daily chores.

“We grew up on a dairy farm, and my uncle asked us if we wanted to come with our cousins to a local tournament,” Hartung said. “My brother and I looked at each other – anything to get us out of chores, and we are in.”

It didn’t take long before Hartung was hooked.

“We were strong farm kids, so we did well right away, and my love of wrestling grew from there. I liked the physicality and the sense of individual accomplishment. Being out there all by yourself and beating another competitor – it was a feeling that was so different and rewarding from other sports.”

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Catching up with Gable Steveson

At 20 years old, Gable Steveson has already accomplished a lot in life. A two-time Cadet World champion and 2017 Junior World champion, Steveson is currently No. 2 on the National Team and a legitimate contender to make the Olympic Team and compete for a medal.

Earlier today, Mike Willis caught up with Gable to discuss a variety of topics including his ever-expanding social media presence and his WWE aspirations. View at teamusa.org

Gopher Wrestling Club wrestlers back to the mat on Sunday

FITE digital sports network will showcase some of the nation’s best freestyle wrestlers streamed live on Sunday, June 28 at 6 p.m. CT. The event is deemed ‘Rumble on the Rooftop FITE Klub’ and will take place in downtown Chicago.

Matchups include the main event, two-time national champ Jordan Oliver wrestling three-time national champ Jason Nolf. Other matches include two wrestlers who finished the year ranked No. 1 in the nation, Pat Lugo and Luke Pletcher, and current world team member Pat Downey versus World Greco team member Joe Rau.

Gopher WC wrestlers Dylan Ness, Zach Sanders, Brett Pfarr, Nazar Kulchytskyy, and Mitch McKee (against former Gopher Nick Dardanes) are also scheduled to compete.

“It’s been 100 days since we’ve last wrestled, our guys are thrilled to return to the mat and put on a show for the fans,” said Gopher Wrestling Club Coach Dustin Schlatter.

Continue readingGopher Wrestling Club wrestlers back to the mat on Sunday

Contact sports face special challenges to restart in the COVID-19 era

The nature of some sports dictates that hard contact isn’t going to ease up, so it will be up to COVID-19 testers to be gatekeepers of sorts. And that might not be enough to keep seasons viable.

Football players ram into each other to begin a play and usually end it with a collision that brings a ball carrier to the ground.

Hockey players pin each other against the boards with body checks and use any physical means necessary to separate an opponent from the puck.

Wrestlers square off inches apart, then almost immediately grab arms, bump heads and exert themselves in face-to-face contact, often breathing the same air for six minutes or more.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have stressed social distancing to combat the deadly virus, which is largely spread through infected droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking. But for contact sports, social distancing isn’t a workable option. Continue reading at startribune.com