The Guillotine – April 14, 2022

The April 14, 2022 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Deciding To Be Great – Cole Konrad | Lace ‘Em Up | Camps-Clinics-Training | MWCA Report | Doing It On Their Own – Dennis Whitman and Medford Wrestling | The Guillotine High School Pound-For-Pound Class Rankings | View From The Matbird Seat | Officially Speaking | First-Time Wrestler, First-Time Champion – Apple Valley’s Grace Alagbo | Where Have They Gone? Brad Huckle | Ask The Doc | Performance Nutrition – What Do You Have With Your Eggs? | Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Awards.

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First-Time Wrestler, First-Time Champion

Apple Valley’s Grace Alagbo

By Brian Jerzak

Many first-time champions were crowned at this year’s Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament. Years of wrestling practice was undoubtedly the route nearly all the wrestlers who stood on the top of the podium – or even lost in the first round – took to the Xcel Energy Center. One notable exception was girls 145-pound champion Grace Alagbo. After her first season ever, the Apple Valley sophomore ended with a gold medal hanging around her neck.

“I had never watched a wrestling match before,” Alagbo admitted. “I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t learn the scoring until later in the season. Once we got to some bigger tournaments, coaches would yell ‘TWO,’ so that is what I went with.”

While she was not familiar with wrestling, she was not unfamiliar with competing in a predominantly male sport.

“I have two brothers and no sisters. I am naturally an aggressive person,” said Alagbo. “I like physical contact sports. I started playing football when I was little, and I started really playing football in middle school. I wasn’t going to play my freshman year, but it would be a high school experience that I wanted. I decided to join the team.”

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The Guillotine – January 20, 2022

The January 20, 2022 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: A New Direction – Apple Valley | Donny and Nick – Writing a Legacy | Lace ‘Em Up | Camps, Clinics, and Training | MWCA Report | High School | Performance Nutrition – Got Milk? | View From The Matbird Seat | Where Have They Gone? – Jay Tolleson | Officially Speaking | Ask The Doc.

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A New Direction – Apple Valley Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

When Dalen Wasmund decided to step away from the head coaching position at Apple Valley High School, he was not only leaving a program that was coming off a state title. He was leaving a program that set the standard for high school wrestling – not just in Minnesota but also in the nation. Following Wasmund and former Eagles’ coach, Jim Jackson would take someone willing to step into a program with an impossibly high standard, and it would take someone willing to take the program in a new direction.

“Expectations were definitely high, but I felt like if you were afraid to go after things because you only worried about the potential negative outcomes, you are going to miss out on a lot of great opportunities and experiences, you can’t live your life with that type of mindset,” Apple Valley head coach Josh Barlage said. “You wouldn’t enjoy the process if you were just worried about those things. Those things ran through my head before I took the job. Some good advice that Coach Wasmund gave me was not to get too caught up in the winning and losing – that stuck with me. Obviously, we are striving to win every day, but winning will never be the sole gauge of whether we are successful or not.”

Success for Barlage and the Eagles’ program comes from winning in a different way than they did in the program’s heyday.

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Olympian Gable Steveson returns to jubilant Apple Valley High for a golden hometown celebration

Gophers wrestler has yet to say whether he’s returning to the U or explore other opportunities.

Olympic wrestling gold medalist Gable Steveson returned for a celebration Thursday to the Apple Valley High School gym where just three years ago he would have been sitting among the school’s 1,600 students.

Steveson, 21, spent the last two years wrestling for the University of Minnesota before becoming a bona fide global sports star in August with a come-from-behind victory in the final second of the gold medal match in Tokyo.

“Life’s been crazy for me,” the 2018 Apple Valley High graduate said in brief remarks at a 15-minute welcome home rally. “Never give up on your dreams. Your life can change in a second just like mine did. … Happy Gable Steveson Day!”

Since winning the gold, Steveson gets recognized and stopped everywhere he goes. He’s been weighing numerous lucrative opportunities, ranging from the NFL and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to staying at the U and wrestling for the Gophers, where he can now profit from his own name, image and likeness under recent NCAA rule changes.

In an interview, Steveson said he’s “90 percent” decided on his next step and will make an announcement in a week or two. But Thursday was all about soaking up the hometown love in his old gym among people who knew him before the rest of the world did. Continue reading at →

Gable Steveson: Going for the Olympic wrestling gold and beyond

The University of Minnesota wrestler talks about his plans for the Tokyo Summer Games, and everything that might come after.

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s 100 days to the Olympic Summer Games and Gable Steveson, a 20-year-old student at the University of Minnesota is preparing to make the trip to Tokyo, Japan. The 260-pounder will represent Team USA as part of the wrestling squad.

Steveson is all smiles sitting in his dorm room, thinking ahead to what it will mean representing his country at the games, saying “It’s crazy that I qualified for the Olympics and I’m going to Tokyo.”

There’s good reason the Junior from the U of M is pumped. He’s the reigning NCAA Division 1 National Champion, a two-time Big Ten Conference champion, two-time All-American and was honored as a top college wrestler. But for him, the Olympics is the ultimate dream come true, “Not many 20 year olds make the Olympic team,” he said. “I think I’m the third or second youngest ever to touch the team and especially in my weight class.”

On the verge of becoming wrestling royalty, you could say his journey started at birth. He’s named after Iowa wrestling legend Dan Gabel. His dad was a wrestler, both his brothers spent time on the mat and Gable was introduced to the sport at a very young age. View/continue reading at →

Steveson Dominates in the Big Apple

Augsburg wrestler Emily Shilson and former Apple Valley wrestler Seth Gross also wrestled

Competing for the first time since winning the 2020 Big Ten title last March, Golden Gopher heavyweight Gable Steveson defeated Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger by technical fall at the 2020 Beat the Streets virtual event on Thursday night.

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