MN Storm’s Largest Girls Team and First Ever Girls National Dual Meet Team Make a Splash at Fargo

By Drew Rissman

Every July, Fargo, North Dakota is home to the largest school aged wrestling tournament in the world as it is host to the Cadet and Junior Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships. Some of the best junior high and high school wrestlers in the country compete in ‘Fargo’ to stake their claim on the coveted national championship. A few thousand wrestlers call the Fargodome home during this week with several hundred of those wrestlers being girls.

Just as the girls wrestling participation numbers continue to increase dramatically nationwide, Team Minnesota has been growing as well. This year saw the team’s Cadet and Junior National participants grow to 11 girls, up from five a year ago. MN USA Wrestling Girls Director and Coach Chad Shilson said, “I’m very happy with the growth that we’ve seen in participation and I’m looking forward to the increase we’ll see in the years to come.” Continue reading

Three days in Fargo with Alex Lloyd

The amount of wrestling tournaments keeps growing every year. The big ones like the Ironman, Beast of the East, and The Clash are getting infiltrated by events like Who’s Number One, Beat the Streets and Preseason Nationals. The sport is becoming a little watered down and winning a national event doesn’t carry the same weight it did a decade ago. It seems like every state has a tournament and it gets harder every year to determine which wrestler is the best in the class. Then, if you throw in the travel restrictions each state has for in-season folkstyle, it becomes almost impossible to really know what athletes are the very best. And then there’s Fargo. This event has one year left on its contract, and if it moves, who knows what it will be called. But make no mistake, this is the battle for the national championship and there is no other event that comes close to this meat grinder. Most brackets are full of state champions and those that will be. Winning a title here is, without a doubt, the most prestigious accomplishment in high school wrestling.

Six summers in a row I have looked for a wrestler with a Minnesota connection that has a decent chance of becoming a champion to follow and write about. I’ve had some great candidates over the years. Brandon Kingsley and Jake Short came within a match of getting on the big stage. Tommy Thorn, Fredy Stroker, and Griffin Parriott each won the title the year after I followed them. I’m still referred to as the jinx and if I choose a wrestler, it’s almost a lock they will win it the next year. Still not one of them has made it to the championship match. Maybe this will be the year. Continue reading at