The Guillotine – April 11, 2024

The April 11, 2024 issue of The Guillotine. In the headlines: Sticking With The Program – Trevor Mahlum and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg | Wrestling Against Adversity, One Surgery at a Time – Rock Ridge’s Grant Benz | Lace ‘Em Up – Minnesota College All-Americans | Walter and Braun named Ms. and Mr. MN Wrestlers of the Year | Ask The Doc | View From The Matbird Seat | Where Have They Gone? – Austin Scarset | Performance Nutrition – Our Bodies Are Amazing | Camps, Clinics, and Training | MWCA Awards

View this issue below.

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Wrestling Against Adversity, One Surgery at a Time

By Brian Jerzak

I have been writing – in some form – for The Guillotine since 1999. Eventually, that helped pave the way for other opportunities – including writing about Minnesota high school football – which I have done for another website since roughly 2002. Since then, I have written about hundreds of kids and wrestling or football programs. In all those years, I have never talked to an athlete like Rock Ridge’s Grant Benz.

Benz just wrapped up his junior season. He has never been to the state tournament or even a section final. Benz had a respectable season with a 26-19 record, but the fact that he is on the mat at all makes him – in my twenty-five years writing about high school and college sports – the most remarkable athlete I have ever had the chance to talk with. Despite what I have learned when talking to Grant and people close to him, to his family and friends, he is just Grant.

“The last time I counted, I was at 43 surgeries,” Benz said, “but it might be closer to 50 now.”

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Rock Ridge’s Grant Benz leaves it all on the mat

Virginia sophomore has come a long way after more than 40 surgeries stemming from life-threatening birth defects.

DULUTH — Grant Benz sat on the floor at the Cloquet High School gym looking awfully bored, his back against the wall as his Rock Ridge teammates took on Pierz Feb. 7 as part of a wrestling quadrangular.

Benz wanted to be out there wrestling but instead was wearing street clothes due to knee soreness. It was hard for him to sit and watch and cheer.

“We all want to win,” he said.

For Benz, though, this is nothing new. The Virginia sophomore has been dealing with health issues his entire life. Continue reading at duluthnewstribune.com →