High School Milestones – Thursday, January 14, 2021

Pirates have high expectations on the mat

Some coaches will tell you they couldn’t care less about where their team is ranked; that they don’t feel the need to buy whatever hype outside observers are selling.

Wes Hanson isn’t one of those coaches.

In November, Minnesota wrestling website The Guillotine released its first preseason rankings. Five Crookston wrestlers were ranked in the Top 10 of their respective weight classes (four were ranked in the most recent rankings, released Sunday), and as a team, the Pirates were named a “Lean and Mean” team, ranked just outside the Top 10.

“It tells you that these guys have earned some respect,” Hanson, who’s going into his sixth year as Crookston’s head coach, said then. “And they’ve accomplished a lot already.” Continue reading at crookstontimes.com →

Rough-and-tumble Reid Ballantyne seeks to achieve wrestling rarity

When he was about 10 years old, an age when many wrestlers are just getting started and finding their way around a mat, Reid Ballantyne had had enough.

Ballantyne had the experienced normal youth wrestling ups and downs — some promising victories mixed with a few emotionally crushing losses. The latter, Ballantyne thought, were just too much to endure.

So he made up his mind that he would never again be willing to allow an opponent an advantage. Losing never sat well. Giving up so much as a single point was a personal insult.

“It was never the wins that drove him, it was always the losses,” said the Stillwater senior’s father, Steve. “They were getting tougher for him to deal with every year. That’s when he became bulletproof.” Continue reading at mnwrestlinghub.com →

Grams, Scott, Greenhouse set to headline for Kennedy

Kennedy senior Isaac Grams comes into the wrestling season ranked No. 2 at 195 pounds in Class AA with an eye on a third state meet appearance in March. Grams is one of three Eagles to make the rankings, along with sophomore Zach Greenhouse at 113 pounds and junior Mason Scott at 160 pounds.

The trio gives Kennedy a strong shot to compete for hardware in the Metro West Conference and Section 5-AAA.

After a lack of spring, summer, and fall time on the gold and blue mats at the Kennedy Activity center, coach Chuck Vavrosky and the staff are trying to get the wrestlers into form as quickly as possible.

Knowing COVID-19 would impact the season, Vavrosky, along with the Kennedy Wrestling Boosters, invested in wrestling dummies to help promote social distancing while allowing the wrestlers to develop and refine moves. Continue reading at hometownsource.com →