Let’s TakeDown Cancer Together – February 1st – February 7th

Since the inception of our TakeDown Cancer program, communities from the Midwest and beyond, have raised over $250,000 for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. Proceeds go directly to fund cancer research and programs that benefit cancer patients.

Due to the COVID pandemic, limited fan events, and stresses on coaches, we have decided to give everyone the opportunity to support TakeDown Cancer with an online donation week. From February 1st – 7th, wresting families can donate directly to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.

We want to thank YOU for making the TakeDown Cancer program so successful over the years. Please consider a donation and forwarding this message on as we work together to TakeDown Cancer! Double Your Donation! The first $3000 in donations will be matched dollar for dollar!

Thank you so much for supporting TakeDown Cancer! Continue reading at givesmart.com →

Augsburg coaching legend John Grygelko passes away

MINNEAPOLIS — John Grygelko, who played a key role in establishing the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team as a small-college national power, died on Friday, December 18, 2020. He was 93 years old.

Grygelko coached the Auggies during a key period of the program’s growth, from 1972 to 1980. His teams never finished lower than second in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition, winning six straight league titles from 1975 to 1980. Grygelko coached 32 MIAC individual champions, including three conference tournament most valuable wrestlers. He produced a 98-12-1 dual-meet record in his Augsburg career, including two unbeaten seasons (11-0 in 1976-77, 12-0 in 1978-79).

Under Grygelko, the Auggies finished in the top 10 in NAIA national competition four times, including a second-place finish in 1975 and a third-place finish in 1979. He coached 18 NAIA All-Americans during his Augsburg years, including national champions Scott Whirley ’82 (126 pounds) and Jeff Swenson ’79 (167 pounds) in 1979. Grygelko was named NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1975.

“We hold John and his family in our hearts as we mourn his loss. ‘G’ was much more than a coach to so many of us. ‘G’ was a father figure who guided the lives of hundreds of young men, and for many of us, helped mold us into the men we are today. He was instrumental in bringing Augsburg’s wrestling program to national prominence,” said Swenson, who succeeded Grygelko as Augsburg’s head coach in 1980 and led the Auggies to 10 NCAA Division III national championships in his 25 seasons (1980-84, 1986-2007). Swenson currently serves as Augsburg’s athletic director. Continue reading at athletics.augsburg.edu →

2021 MCC Region I Hall of Fame Banquet to take place on March 13th

The Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Hall of Fame Committee has selected nine new members for induction on Saturday, March 13, 2020.

The class will be inducted in person or virtually (TBD). Updates regarding format, location, and times will be made as the event gets closer.

To purchase tickets or for more details, contact Rick Ties rickties@gmail.com.

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The Guillotine ready to celebrate 50th year of publication in Minnesota

In 1971, St. James High School wrestling coach Paul Krueger was hoping to expand and promote the reaches of wrestling, not only in St. James but throughout the state of Minnesota.

He and fellow coach and friend Bill Mohr came up with an idea to start a newspaper, fashioned after Iowa’s state wrestling paper, The Predicament, which highlighted high school wrestling across the Hawkeye State.

In a twist of humor—of which Krueger was known for—Krueger named the newspaper The Guillotine, a wrestling move he hated but taught his wrestlers in case they ever needed to get out of it.

In that first year, The Guillotine published just four papers. The first edition held features and stories of wrestlers from around the state, including St. James. Continue reading at stjamesnews.com →

View The December, 1971 issue of The Guillotine

NWHOF to Induct 9 new members at the MN Chapter Banquet in the Spring

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter is proud to announce the induction of nine new members for the Class of 2021. Ricky Ties Jr will receive the State Medal of Courage Award from Minnesota. Honorees for the Lifetime Service Award are Dr. John Berg Jr, Clay Nagel, Charlie Peterson, Terry Sworsky, Jim Tanniehill, Steve Techam, Ken Vogt, and Jim Williams.

The Banquet will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center, right off I-90, Exit 178A. The schedule includes a social hour at 12 Noon, dinner at 1:00 pm, and presentations, honoree speeches, green jacket parade, and marble plaque inductions at 2:30 pm. 2020 honorees Larry Goodnature and Bill Schmidt will give their postponed acceptance speeches first.

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DeWaine Silker 1929-2020

Hall of Famer DeWaine Silker passed away on November 4th. He was 91 years old. A native of Rochester, Minn., Silker was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1988, the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007.

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A.M. “Sandy” Keith 1928-2020

Hall of Famer Alexander MacDonald “Sandy” Keith passed away on October 3rd. He was 91 years old.

Keith served as a Minnesota State Senator, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor, and Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Keith excelled as an athlete in football, wrestling, and baseball for Rochester High School. He placed third at 154 pounds at the 1946 Minnesota State Tournament. Keith played football and wrestled for four years at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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Catching up with Jim Gale

From Wrestling to Sustainable Farming

By Chad Otterness

Jim was a 1988 Totino-Grace High School and 1994 Mankato State University graduate. Jim has accumulated an impressive wrestling background. He was a Minnesota state freestyle and Greco-Roman champion, a two-time place winner at the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Championships, and a four-time All-American at Mankato State University, earning a National Championship in 1992.

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