Everyone likes an underdog right? The Rocky movies, Cool Runnings, The Replacements, Invincible, Major League. Great stories with fun characters all resting on the belief that you can reach your goals even if the odds are stacked against you. Going into this interview, that was how I viewed the season that Jake Bergeland had for the Golden Gophers last year. It had all the ingredients for an underdog story. His first year in the lineup for Minnesota, had some injuries that prevented him from starting in previous years, as well as just being behind some really talented wrestlers. Those trials and tribulations, in my mind and in the minds of many others, meant that Jakob Bergeland was a great underdog story. However, that’s not how the story went for Jake. That’s not how he pictures himself. Jake, like many college wrestlers, viewed his path into the lineup as a tough, but necessary road. The hurdles and struggles along the way only made him stronger and helped develop him into the guy who felt ready to get onto the podium as soon as he had his chance. He knew that he would get there eventually, but those first couple of years made him into the wrestler that he is now.
He was 22-11 in his first year in college, while redshirting. He felt ready to have that impact after that season. Most guys have a lot of growth in their first year, but there was a lot of excitement after that year. Unfortunately, he was still behind Steve Bleise who had transferred in, and had been a bloodround wrestler, as well as Tommy Thorn bumping up to 149, making it exceedingly difficult to get that first chance. Pair that with an injury, and guys like Brayton Lee and Michael Blockhus coming to Minnesota and into the 149 weight class as well. Once recovered, there was still a lot of talent in the Golden Gophers room keeping Jake from having his chance. Continue reading at intermatwrestle.com →