Apple Valley’s Sebas Swiggum unbreakable off the mat, too

Apple Valley wrestling coach Josh Barlage has a seemingly endless list of superlatives he uses when he talks about Sebas Swiggum, but Barlage prefers to illustrate the uber-focus and self-discipline of his senior captain with a story.

“We’re coming back from a tournament in Fargo and it was about 6 o’clock. The guys on the team asked if we could stop and get something to eat. So we stopped and everybody got off the bus. There were a couple of restaurants and the kids went in,” Barlage recalled.

“Sebas didn’t get off the bus. He didn’t go into any of the fast food restaurants. I said ‘Sebas, did you get something to eat?’ He pulled out a bag of almonds and held them up. He said ‘I’m not putting that junk in my body.’ That’s Sebas. I’ve got a hundred stories like that. You can’t break him.” Continue reading at www.startribune.com

James wins silver and Lovell snags bronze at Veteran Freestyle World Championships

Rudy James is an assistant coach for Apple Valley High School

SKOPJE, Macedonia – Rudy James of St. Paul, Minn., earned a silver medal at 70 kg on Friday at the Veteran World Championships in Skopje, Macedonia. Three other Americans placed in the top five.

James competed in Division B, which is for athletes between the ages of 41 and 45. To start the tournament, James collected a pair of shutout technical falls, including a 10-0 win over Onder Ozgul of Turkey and an 11-0 win against M. Tanev of Macedonia.

In the semifinals, Hancock squeaked out a 3-0 decision over Ganbat Dorjgotov of Mongolia to land a spot in the finals.

There, he dropped a 12-2 bout to MuhammadAli Haghighatdou of Great Britain to wrap up a silver-medal finish. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Coming home, and giving back

Two NCAA champions help train next wave of AV wrestlers

Apple Valley wrestling coach Josh Barlage knew it would be difficult to keep the attention of children, some of whom were younger than 10, through a day-long camp. So he called for help.

Highly qualified help, at that. On one of three mats at Saturday’s Camp of Champions at Apple Valley High School, an NCAA champion watched intently as two students grappled. On the next mat, another NCAA champion helped two more wrestlers sort out what to do in the referee’s position.

If anybody thought about goofing off – well, camp instructor Mark Hall wasn’t having it.

“We’ve been losing a little focus,” said the only six-time individual state high school champion in Minnesota history. “We’re going to take a water break and when we come back I’m going to need your full attention. Continue reading at www.hometownsource.com