Three Men on a Mission

Steve Elwood found three dream matches to follow in the recent Minnesota state wrestling tournament. He asked three of the participants if he could follow them as they made their way to their shot at the gold medal. All three wrestlers are former state champions and their potential rivals were also defending state champions. Two out of those six former champions had multiple titles going into the weekend. There was no way of knowing who was going to come out on top, but Elwood was going to follow it through to the end. Continue reading at

Injured senior’s sacrifice helps Spuds to state team berth

Moorhead – In the week leading up to the Class 3A, Section 8 team wrestling tournament Feb. 16, Moorhead senior wrestler AJ Wheeler – ranked third in the state at 182 pounds by the website The Guillotine at the time – felt a pop and a snap in his right knee in practice.

“I tried standing up on it, and that just wasn’t happening,” Wheeler said. “We were a little scared.” Continue reading at

Battling brothers

The Woiwor brothers, sophomore Maolu and senior Danny, are competitive keys for Apple Valley.

Apple Valley’s Maolu Woiwor won a state wrestling title last year as a freshman and has high aspirations for his sophomore season as well.

Hanging in his bedroom at home is a sign, a reminder of what motivates him the most. It reads: “Be better than Daniel Woiwor.”

Danny Woiwor, a senior on Apple Valley’s wrestling team, isn’t having it. Continue reading at

Prep wrestler hopes his sport’s comeback story matches his own

Wrestling is a sport for survivors, such as St. Michael-Albertville’s Mitchell McKee.

When the International Olympic Committee proposed dropping wrestling from the 2020 Games in favor of such sports as equestrian, modern pentathlon and trampoline, the IOC again revealed itself as tone deaf.

Wrestling is, historically and philosophically, a seminal Olympic sport, a primal test of strength, skill, toughness and willpower. It is also a sport filled with admirable athletes and transcendent stories like Mitchell McKee, who 15 years ago today left a hospital ahead of schedule and against all odds. Continue reading at

Olympic wrestling decision weighs heavily on Apple Valley star Mark Hall II

Apple Valley High School freshman Mark Hall II is a nationally ranked wrestler who has spent years dreaming of competing in the 2020 Olympics.

Now, he’ll have to push that timetable ahead four years — or watch his Olympic dreams disappear — after the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday, Feb. 12, plans to drop wrestling, one of the game’s oldest Olympic sports, from the 2020 Games. Continue reading at

Breuer wrestles with a heavy heart

In 17 months, Mitchell Breuer’s life changed with the death of his brother and father. Through it all, the Goodhue senior has persevered in his home life and on the wrestling mat

Mitchell Breuer wrestles two different types of matches.

On the mat, he is a standout middleweight for the Goodhue wrestling team, working his way up to a 114-59 record and a state berth last season as a junior in a varsity career that started in seventh grade. Continue reading at

Z-M wrestler aims to be among the few

ZUMBROTA– The Marines are always looking for a few good men. Mitchell Watkins would like to also give them a state champion wrestler.

The hard-working Zumbrota-Mazeppa senior certainly has the motivation, with a coveted ROTC scholarship already in hand, and he may also have the means on the mat.

Watkins is 25-1 this season and last week he became Z-M’s all-time career wins leader with No. 134. He’s ranked No. 6 at 138 pounds in Class A. Continue reading at