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A Family Legacy

Nathan Lexvold and K-W Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

Two years ago, Kenyon-Wanamingo head coach Matt Ryan stepped away from a position he had held for 21 years. Ryan had built the program from a team that was happy to get out of the pigtail match during sections to one of the best programs in the state. To replace someone synonymous with Knights' wrestling, the K-W athletic department didn't have to look far for a replacement. They hired Nathan Lexvold – someone who is also synonymous with Knights' wrestling and whose family might be more ingrained in the community than even their former coach.

"My dad (Wayne Lexvold) wrestled for Goodhue – one of our rivals. He moved to Kenyon, and once I started wrestling in elementary, he started coaching in the elementary program. As my brothers and I moved up to varsity, he moved with us as a volunteer assistant coach."

Wrestling and the future head coach was a good fit from the beginning.

"I am a competitive person," Lexvold said. "I like to win. I always tell people I hate losing more than I like winning. Wrestling is a competitive thing, and with it being a one-on-one thing, you can control it."

Lexvold and three of his younger brothers came through the wrestling program. When Nathan was a senior, the brothers may have set a state record.

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The Guillotine – April 15, 2021

The April 15, 2021 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: State Action Photos | Lace 'Em Up - State Tournament Recognition Awards | Team State Tournament Wrap-up | Individual State Finals Recap | State Tournament Results | Camps-Clinics-Training | MWCA Report | Performance Nutrition - Pop: Regular vs. Diet | Stamped By Family - Doug Vaith and Lake City Wrestling | MWCA Awards.

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Stamped By Family

Doug Vaith and Lake City Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

When high school athletics are done correctly, the focus is on the kids involved. As an extension of making the kids the centerpiece, families become almost as important. More than anything, family has shaped Doug Vaith's coaching career and, in turn, has shaped the path of the Lake City wrestling program.

As first-generation wrestlers, the Vaith family would soon put their stamp on Minnesota wrestling.

"My oldest brother played basketball, but my second oldest brother – Paul, who coaches in Hastings – got going in wrestling and four of my five brothers got into it," Vaith said. "We wrestled for Blooming Prairie; three of us ended up being state qualifiers. I started wrestling in fourth grade and was a state qualifier in 1981."

Although not wrestling people, Vaith's parents supported their sons' passion.

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The Guillotine – March 18, 2021

The March 18, 2021 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: The Best Is Yet To Come - Mounds View Wrestling | Overcoming Adversity and Near Misses Together - Rob Ullyott and Detroit Lakes Wrestling | Lace 'Em Up | Camps-Clinics-Training | MWCA Report | High School Rankings | Ask The Doc | View From The Matbird Seat | The Secret Weapon - Garrett Nelson | Officially Speaking | Where Have They Gone? - Steve Carr | Performance Nutrition - Power-Up With Produce.

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The Best Is Yet To Come

Mounds View Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

Minnesota wrestling fans are used to seeing some of the blue blood programs with a zero in the loss column late into the season. Programs like Simley, Kasson-Mantorville, Shakopee, and St. Michael-Albertville routinely post outstanding regular-season records. One team that stayed undefeated late into the regular season this year might surprise you. The Mounds View Mustangs won their first seventeen dual meets. The season is shaping up to be their most successful since the Mustangs took fourth place at the state tournament in 2007. The best thing for head coach Dan Engebretson – if they make it to State this year or not – is the best is yet to come.

"We are a young team," Engebretson said. "We have three ninth graders and three eighth-graders starting on varsity. We didn't know what to expect, and they are overproducing. They are performing great. Different wrestlers have been stepping up every week. It has been a fun ride so far."

The team is wrestling with confidence beyond their years.

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The Secret Weapon

Detroit Lakes' Garrett Nelson

By Brian Jerzak

If anyone ever tells you one guy can't make a difference on a wrestling team or any team, don't believe them. Detroit Lakes' senior Garrett Nelson proved one guy could make all the difference.

Coming into the 2019-20 season, the Detroit Lakes Lakers' wrestling team had not won a section tournament in over ten years. They had won just two in their history. Coming into the 2019 football season, things were looking great for the Lakers' wrestling team – then, not so much.

Two-time state champion Isiah Thompson injured his knee during the football season – ending his football season and his wrestling season. Before Detroit Lakes could wrestle a match, another starter from two seasons ago – Nelson – would not be able to wrestle.

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