Jim Carrington honored with MWCA Publicity Award

By Nick Fornicoia

For 52 years Jim Carrington of The Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper has been covering our great sport of wrestling. He is being honored for his contributions to the sport of wrestling by the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association with the 2011 Publicity Award.

“Jim has no peer when it comes to covering the sport as long as he has. This guy is simply the best and his photographs are the best. At the age of 82, he’s as sharp as a tack,” said Luther College assistant coach and fellow sports writer Spencer Yohe.

Yohe also noted, “Jim Carrington has filled more scrapbooks for graduation than any other sports writer in the State of Minnesota. Jim’s work week is 70 hours per week yet today, and his objectivity and coverage are second to none, as he covers elementary to high school to college wrestling.”

Longtime Bemidji teacher, coach, and athlete Howard Schultz has many glowing comments about Jim.  “Mr. Carrington’s knowledge of wrestling and his knowledge of every Bemidji wrestler regardless of age or grade has enhanced his writing and the sport itself.”

“Wrestlers come and graduate, parents come and go, coaches come and go; but there is one constant: Jim Carrington still here supporting wrestling,” said John Grygelko, former coach of Augsburg College and Robbinsdale High School.

In addition to writing about wrestling for the Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper for the past 52 years, Jim wrote for The Guillotine, Minnesota’s wrestling newspaper, for many years.  His column in The Guillotine was called “Mat Chatter of The North” and highlighted wrestlers from all over northern Minnesota.

Jim was in attendance at the first ever Bemidji wrestling home debut in 1955 and remarkably has not missed a home dual or tournament since. He has amassed a remarkable 56 years of attending and later announcing the Lumberjacks home matches.

In addition to his writing duties, Jim has been the public address announcer at all Bemidji wrestling matches and tournaments for 50 years!  All the wrestlers love Jim and his work writing and announcing.

Spencer Yohe’s statements show the wrestlers admiration for him. “Jim probably gets more graduation announcements and invitations than any other sports writer in the state of Minnesota.”

“Jim is as humble a person as you would ever want to meet, and his love for kids and getting athletes recognition is unmatched in our society.”

Bemidji head wrestling coach Rance Bahr nominated Jim for this award and said, “Mr. Jim Carrington would be the first to say he doesn’t deserve it.  But that quality of humbleness and his never-ending promotion of the sport of wrestling are exactly the reasons why Jim Carrington deserves to be the MWCA 2011 Publicity Award winner!”

Congratulations Jim Carrington.

  • Born 11-14-28 in St. Petersburg Florida
  • Graduated Washington & Lee University, Lexington VA 1950 with a major in English and specialty in journalism
  • First radio experience as sports anchor for college radio WREL
  • Broadcast first game between W & L and Duke
  • Entered U.S. Army 1950 and served two years as cryptographer
  • Discharged in 1952
  • Enrolled in Cambridge school of Broadcasting, NYC graduating in 1953
  • Began radio career at WLEU, Erie PA
  • Joined KBUN, Bemidji in 1954 as news and sports director, disc jockey and staff announcer
  • Attended first Bemidji High wrestling match in 1955
  • Has attended EVERY home wrestling match over the next 56 years
  • 1956 began as public address announcer and continued over the last 55 years
  • Joined Pioneer in 1959 as news reporter and photographer
  • Began covering local sports on side, quickly advancing post into 2nd job
  • Created eight weekly columns, including “Mat Chatter”
  • Elected to Bemidji High Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1998
  • Elected to BHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002
  • 2011 MWCA Publicity Award Winner

St. Cloud State’s Sundgren Named NSIC Wrestler of the Year

Constanzo Named NSIC Coach of the Year

St. Cloud State University senior John Sundgren (Blaine) has been voted by the league coaches as the 2010-11 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Wrestler of the Year.  He was joined in the NSIC spotlight by SCSU head coach Steve Costanzo, who was named the 2010-11 NSIC Coach of the Year.

Sundgren went 16-3 on the season and won the NCAA Division II National Championship at 157 pounds. He shut out Dillion Bera (26-8) of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in a 4-0 decision in the championship round to claim the first SCSU wrestling national title since Gene Hanemann took the podium in 1995.

Before Hanemann, the last Husky wrestler to win a national title was Mike Rybak in 1967 (NAIA championships). Sundgren excelled during the national tournament winning his first match by fall, this second match 9-5 and his semifinal match 5-2. In the national championship match he revenged a loss to Bera from the NCAA Super Region #3 Championship two weeks earlier. Sundgren is the first SCSU wrestler to gain NSIC Wrestler of the Year honors.

Costanzo was also voted by his peers as the 2010-11 NSIC Wrestling Coach of the Year.   St. Cloud State enjoyed one of its best seasons in team history as they placed second in the nation at the 2011 NCAA Division II championships, won the 2011 NCAA Division II Super Region #3 title and set a team record with a 19-2 dual meet record in 2010-11.

The second place national finish was the highest national tournament finish for the Huskies in team history, and the Huskies also posted a solid third place finish at the elite NWCA National Duals in 2011. Coach Costanzo was also named the 2011 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year. His overall record at SCSU currently stands at 58-23.

SCSU athletes named to the 2010-11 All-NSIC First Team this winter included Sundgren, junior Eric Ellington (133), junior Tad Merritt (165), sophomore Shamus O’Grady (174) and sophomore Jake Kahnke (285).  Huskies earning All-NSIC Second Team notice this winter included senior Gabe Suarez (141) and junior Jacob D. Horn (149).

Trevor Franklin125So.Upper IowaSouth New Berlin, N.Y.
Eric Ellington133Jr.St. Cloud StateFairview Heights, Ill.
Jay Sherer141Sr.AugustanaColumbus, Neb.
Nate Herda149So.AugustanaRock Rapids, Iowa
John Sundgren157R-Sr.St. Cloud StateBlaine, Minn.
Tad Merritt165R-Jr.St. Cloud StateCanby, Minn.
Shamus O’Grady174R-So.St. Cloud StateCoon Rapids, Minn.
Aaron Norgren184Jr.Minnesota StateGood Thunder, Minn.
Ty Copsey197Sr.AugustanaGlenwood, Iowa
Jake Kahnke285R-SoSt. Cloud StateShakopee, Minn.


Al Meger125Sr.AugustanaOwatonna, Minn.
*Andy Forstner125Sr.Minnesota StateMadelia, Minn.
*Corey Ulmer125R-Jr.MSU MoorheadWishek, N.D.
Jason Jeremiason133Jr.AugustanaMarshall, Minn.
*Kyle Pedretti133R-Jr.Upper IowaMonona, Iowa
Gabriel Suarez141R-Sr.St. Cloud StateLas Vegas, Nev.
Jacob Horn149R-Jr.St. Cloud StateEphrata, Wash.
Marcus Edgington157Jr.AugustanaSioux City, Iowa
Gavin Nelson165Sr.AugustanaMissouri Valley, Iowa
Ben Becker174Sr.Minnesota StateFort Dodge, Iowa
*Mark Mueller174Sr.Upper IowaPostville, Iowa
Brady Anderson184So.U-MaryHamilton, Mont.
*Mitch Schultz184R-So.Upper IowaPostville, Iowa
Pat Mahan197Jr.Minnesota StateOwatonna, Minn.
*Carl Broghammer197R-Fr.Upper IowaManchester, Iowa
Matthew Meuleners285R-So.Northern StateNorwood Young America, Minn.

NSIC All-Conference Criteria     
The highest place-winner at the NCAA Regional Tournament from each weight class shall be named all-conference first team. The runner up will be named all-conference second team. *Also, any wrestler that earns NCAA All-American honors will also be recognized as second team all-conference.

Three Bison Named All-Western Wrestling Conference

OREM, Utah – Three members of the North Dakota State wrestling team earned All-Western Wrestling Conference honors as announced by the league office.  SeniorVince Salminen was a first team selection, while redshirt freshman Steven Monk was named to the second team and senior Kenny Moenkedick was selected to the third team.

Athletes earned spots on the respective teams with their finish at the 2011 NCAA West Regional on March 6.

Salminen was a first team honoree for the second time as he claimed his second consecutive regional title at 157 pounds.  The Billings, Mont. native has an overall record of 37-5 going into the NCAA Championships.  He has also recorded 11 pins.  Salminen will take on 11th-seeded Walter Peppelman of Harvard in the opening round of the NCAA Championships.

Monk earns his first All-WWC honor with his second team selection.  Monk finished second at the NCAA West Regional after defeating Air Force’s Clayton Gable in a true second place bout.  The Wausau, Wis. native finished the season with an overall record of 22-9 and 11 pins.

Moenkedick picks up third team honors after his career-best third place finish at the West Regional.  He finished his senior season with a career-high 28 wins for an overall mark of 28-12.  In the third place match, Moenkedick pinned Casen Eldredge of Utah Valley.  Moenkedick then lost a 13-4 major decision to No. 5 Joe LeBlanc of Wyoming in the true second place bout.

Team-wise, Wyoming led the way with five first-team honorees. Northern Iowa was next with two spots on the first team, while Air Force, North Dakota State and Utah Valley held down one spot apiece. In all, the Cowboys and Panthers led the way with seven all-conference honorees. The Falcons had six wrestlers earn all-league honors and the Wolverines saw four of their grapplers earn all-conference honors. Each WWC school had at least one individual on the all-conference squads.


125 – Michael Martinez (Wyoming), Jr., Pagosa Springs, Colo. (Pagosa Springs HS)**

133 – Flint Ray (UVU), Sr., Roy, Utah (Roy HS)*

141 – Cole VonOhlen (AFA), So., Jackson, Minn. (Jackson County Central HS)*

149 – Cole Dallaserra (Wyoming), Sr., Butte, Mont. (Butte HS)**

157 – Vince Salminen (NDSU), Sr., Billings, Mont. (Skyview HS)*

165 – Shane Onufer (Wyoming), Jr., Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS)**

174 – Patrick Martinez (Wyoming), RFr., Hemet, Calif. (Temecula Valley HS)

184 – Ryan Loder (UNI), RFr., Granite Bay, Calif. (Granite Bay HS)

197 – LJ Helbig (Wyoming), So., Mason, Mich. (Mason HS)*

285 – Christian Brantley (UNI), Jr., Homewood, Ill. (Mount Carmel HS)**


125 – Caleb Flores (UNI), Sr., Rosemead, Calif. (Northview HS)*

133 – Casey Cruz (UNC), Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo. (Wasson HS)

141 – Justin Morrill (UVU), Sr., Logan, Utah (Mountain Crest HS)*

149 – Brett Robbins (UNI), Sr., Bloomington, Ill. (Bloomington HS)

157 – David Bonin (UNI), So., Broussard, La. (Comeaux HS)*

165 – Steven Monk (NDSU), RFr., Wausau, Wis. (Wausau West HS)

174 – Joseph Stafford (AFA), Sr., Loomis, Calif. (Del Oro HS)

184 – Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming), Jr., Meeker, Colo. (Meeker HS)**

197 – Andy O’Loughlin (UNI), Sr., Independence, Iowa (Independence HS)**

285 – Matthew McLaughlin (Wyoming), Murphysboro, Ill. (Murphysboro HS)


125 – Benjamin Kjar (UVU), Sr., Centerville, Utah (Viewmont HS)*

133 – Derek Gillespie (AFA), Sr., Chesapeake, Va. (Great Bridge HS)*

141 – Joey Lazor (UNI), So., McDonough, Ga. (Union Grove HS)

149 – Justin Gaethje (UNC), Sr., Safford, Ariz. (Safford HS)*

157 – Nick Flynn (SDSU), Jr., Lansing, Kan., (Lansing HS)

165 – Clayton Gable (AFA), So., Dallastown, Pa. (Dallastown Area HS)

174 – Brad Darrington (UVU), Jr., Shelley, Idaho (Shelley HS)*

184 – Kenny Moenkedick (NDSU), Sr., Perham, Minn. (Perham HS)

197 – Neil Delaney (AFA), Sr., Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Central HS)

285 – Jared Erickson (AFA), So., Newton, Utah (Sky View HS)

* denotes two-time honoree
** denotes three-time honoree
*** denotes four-time honoree