The Guillotine – May 12, 2022

The May 12, 2022 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Toughing it out as long as he can – Medford’s Charley Elwood | The woman and the sprint that changed Minnesota wrestling history – Elissa Wieneke | Lace ‘Em Up | Camps-Clinics-Training | MWCA Report | Girls Academic All-State | Boys Academic All-State | Where Have They Gone? – The Brand Family | Ask The Doc – Braids | Performance Nutrition – Alcohol?

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Toughing it out as long as he can – Medford’s Charley Elwood

By Brian Jerzak

Medford junior Charley Elwood worked his way through the 138A bracket at the Minnesota High School wrestling tournament in March on his way to another state title. He capped the weekend off with a 15-0 tech fall in the finals. The now three-time state champion was considering not even competing in the section tournament just three weeks earlier.

“Two weeks before this year’s section tournament, I considered stopping because I was in so much pain,” Elwood said. “I could hardly get through practices. It was a hard decision. I love wrestling, and I wanted to win another state title, but I have to live the rest of my life. I sat down with my parents, and I decided I am going to tough it out as long as I can.”

Toughing it out started as a freshman.

“I was wrestling my partner in practice. He got in on my legs and took me down. I ended up landing on my tail bone. I remember I knew something had happened. I couldn’t move, but I got up and finished practice. I don’t know how I finished practice. The section tournament and the state tournament were coming up. I won the section tournament pretty handily. In the state tournament, I remember I couldn’t even hold my stance. I didn’t have any strength. At this point, I didn’t know what was wrong. I was determined to finish the season out, and then I will figure out what is wrong.”

The state tournament would become a preview of what Elwood would have to go through the rest of his wrestling career.

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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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Doing It On Their Own

Dennis Whitman and Medford Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

In wrestling, whether you are three deep at every weight or starting duals behind 18-0 every night because you can’t fill every weight class, Jimmys and Joes will always be more important than Xs and O’s. The head coach can be the best tactician in the country, but if he doesn’t have the bodies in the wrestling room, he will not have much success.

Many small schools have dealt with this problem by combining with other programs in their area also struggling with numbers. The thought is – one solid program is better than two programs that might be in danger of being cut every year.

Medford head wrestling coach Dennis Whitman does not subscribe to that theory, not for the Medford wrestling program.

“I think I can speak on behalf of my athletic director and my assistant coaches – that is not a road we will go down,” Whitman said. “As long as I am the head coach here – if I have five bodies that I can go out and wrestle with every weekend – we are going to be on our own.”

Before taking over the Medford wrestling program, Whitman started his wrestling career in North Dakota.

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Grappling With A Heavyweight Decision: Once considered his third sport, VonRuden surprises many by committing to wrestle in college

From the moment he could slide his tiny hand into a glove, baseball had always been Willie VonRuden’s primary sport. His innate love for the game was nurtured at a young age and eventually met by a set of physical tools that allowed him to shine in the center of the diamond.

Immediately taking the mantle as Medford’s ace pitcher during his freshman season in the spring of 2017, the lefty progressively developed the arm-strength that saw his velocity touch 85 miles-per-hour to go with a nasty set of off-speed pitches. He often buzzed through his level of competition without so much as breaking a sweat, once ringing up all 15 outs of a 5-inning game via strikeout.

Baseball was VonRuden’s athletic path, his ticket to the next level and his best chance at playing sports beyond high school.

His eventual college decision, though, would prove to be his ultimate curveball.

“It’s hard to say, but once I finished this past football season, I didn’t want anything to do with baseball,” VonRuden said. “It had been such a huge part of my life for so long and I just didn’t have that passion for it anymore. I threw my arm out last summer and it feels fine now, but that was really scary and I didn’t know how long I would last in college.” Continue reading at southernminn.com

James Slifka (1938-2018)

Hall of Fame Coach James Slifka of Medford passed away on June 30th. He was 79 years old.

Slifka was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.

Mass of Christian Burial is set for Friday, July 6, 2018, at 10:30 am at Christ The King church in Medford. Friends may greet the family on Thursday, July 5, 2018, from 4-7 pm at the Medford Funeral Home (310 – E. Central Ave.) There will be a 7:00 pm Knights of Columbus Rosary. The visitation will continue from 9:30 to 10:15 on Friday at the funeral home followed by a procession to the church.

Obituary at www.southernminn.com