Campanaro connects with C-I wrestling, enters state Hall of Fame

Tom Campanaro will never forgot how Neil Jennissen “recruited” him to serve as an assistant coach for the Cambridge-Isanti wrestling program back in 1995.

“When we met, Neil had a six-pack of Schmidt Beer waiting for me,” Campanaro said. “That’s my favorite. Obviously he did his research on me.”

Jennissen, the longtime head coach of program, said his research didn’t prepare him for the man he met.

“Several people had told me of this guy who would play golf at Purple Hawk – by running for nine holes while carrying a few clubs with him,” Jennissen said. “And they said, ‘All he wants to do is talk wrestling.’ When we met, he was totally enthusiastic about working with our kids. It was an easy decision to have him be a part of our program.”

Campanaro has served as an assistant coach for the Bluejackets ever since. And this year the 68-year-old’s service and commitment to the program will be honored when he is inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Continue reading at

Tony ‘full’ Nelson returns to international wrestling stage

Tony Nelson is back to “full” strength, if you will pardon the wrestling pun.

A shoulder surgery in November 2017 forced the former Cambridge-Isanti High School and University of Minnesota standout to prove he remains one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the world.

And that is exactly what Nelson did, placing second in the 125-kilogram weight class (275 pounds) at the U.S. Open held in Las Vegas April 25-28.

“I wrestled well this past weekend, and I know I can beat everybody,” Nelson said. “Wrestling is about going in with the right attitude: You have to believe in yourself and have no doubt that you’re going to be the guy. … That’s the mindset I have to bring to the mat.” Continue reading at

Gopher’s Becker Inducted Into Bluejacket Hall of Fame

University of Minnesota Head assistant coach Luke Becker was honored by his alma mater Sunday evening, being inducted into the Cambridge-Isanti High School Bluejacket Hall of Fame.

“Cambridge is a small town and to be inducted into the hall of fame is a pretty cool honor,” said Becker. “We have had some great wrestlers throughout the years, a storied program, so it is an honor to be the first wrestler inducted into the hall of fame. I am sure as the years go there will be many more put in.”

Becker graduated from Cambridge-Isanti in 1998 and was a member of the Bluejackets wrestling and football teams. As a wrestler, Becker won three individual state titles and amassed a total of 210 career victories, a mark that at the time made Becker the winningest high school wrestler in Minnesota history.

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Cambridge-Isanti wrestler, Welch, bringing her talents to college

A chance to play your favorite sport at the collegiate level is a dream for many high school athletes.

That dream will come true for Cambridge-Isanti’s Makayla Welch, as she has officially signed a scholarship to wrestle at division two King University in Bristol, Tennessee.

Welch is the daughter of Mindy and Eugene Welch and has been wrestling for the Bluejackets her entire high school career. She currently wrestles at 106 pounds. After verbally committing to the Tornado’s, Welch signed her letter of intent on Feb. 5.

Being a woman in a male-dominated sport brings a different set of challenges than most athletes face; however, Welch knows her teammates have her back. Continue reading at