Shakopee Coach Jim Jackson to Retire

After five seasons leading the Sabers, Jim Jackson has chosen to retire from the head wrestling coaching position for Shakopee High School. Jackson’s long career is well-known in Minnesota wrestling with numerous conference and state wrestling championships on his resume. In Shakopee, he led the Sabers to four conference championships, three section championships, one 2nd place state finish and two state championships.

In September (2020), Jackson started a new career in the private sector and since then has been splitting time between coaching and his new job. “Trying to juggle both is not fair to our student athletes or our entire program, nor is it fair to the company I work for,” said Jackson. “With this change in my life, I feel like it is the right time to focus on my next chapter.”

Taking over the wrestling program in an interim position for this season is assistant coach Marcus Levesseur. Levesseur has also been with the Sabers for five years and has been an integral supporter and mentor of the team. His dedication will allow him to seamlessly lead the present program. Continue reading at www.shakopee.k12.mn.us →

High School Coaches Wrestling With COVID-19

By Brian Jerzak

The 2019-20 high school wrestling season just got in under the wire before the sports world came to a screeching halt. Since that week in March – while we are nowhere near back to normal – the sports world has slowly come back. Some have been able to compete, while others wait – impatiently – for their time to get back to competition. Based on timing, the high school wrestling world has not lost any competitions, but as we have all seen, we do not know what is going to happen two days from now – much less two months from now. How have high school coaches approached an offseason like no other, and what – if any – plans have they made going forward?

I talked with the head coaches from four of Minnesota’s top high school wrestling teams to find out their thoughts on wrestling with COVID-19.

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Unbeaten Shakopee repeats as 3A wrestling champ

The Sabers’ Tommy Johnson edged unbeaten foe Josh Piechowski at 220 to clinch the win — and a perfect 41-0 season.

Having coached more teams with high expectation that he cares to count, Shakopee coach Jim Jackson knows the best way to deal with them: play dumb.

More like, unaware. As in, when you have a team of athletes with state championship expectations, how do you address them?

“We don’t really talk about them,” Jackson said. “We just focus on learning and improving every day. We don’t talk about rankings or anything like that. We just go out there and do our job.”

The Sabers did their jobs exceedingly well this season, winning all 41 dual meets they had. The 41st was the most important, facing a finally healthy and immensely talented Stillwater in the Class 3A final on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center. Continue reading at mnwrestlinghub.com

Small school LPGEB hopes to make big splash at The Clash

Jacob Lorentz likes to downplay just how powerful his Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville wrestling program has become.

“We’re just a small community from central Minnesota that’s trying to represent our area well,” Lorentz said. “I’m not going to lie to you. We relish the underdog role.”

Now go ahead and turn “relish” into “relished.” That’s because “underdog” doesn’t fit the Wolves anymore. Invitations to the national-renowned Clash wrestling tournament in Rochester don’t come unless you’re special, and he got one this last offseason.

LPGEB has transformed from a program that had 16 wrestlers total when Lorentz took over in 2014, to one that now boasts 40. And the Wolves don’t just have quantity, they have quality, which allowed them to reach the state tournament the last two years, including winning it last season (beating Kenyon-Wanamingo in the finals). The Wolves finished 27-1 overall. Continue reading at www.postbulletin.com

SCSU announces new recruits for 2020-21

St. Cloud, Minn. ~ St. Cloud State University head coach Steve Costanzo has announced the addition of eight signees, who will join the Huskies’ roster in 2020-21.

“My staff and I are very excited to announce the newest additions to Huskies’ wrestling,” said head coach Steve Costanzo. “These guys embody the culture and standard we continue to build at SCSU and I believe they are inspired to be the best they can be in the classroom and on the mat.”

The group of new Huskies includes Blake Thomsen (Neola, Iowa), Bryan Fitzpatrick (Mahtomedi, Minn.), Cody Minor (Green Bay, Wisc.), Daniel Valeria (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Kaleb Haase (Morton, Minn.), Owen Bjerga (Motley, Minn.), Paxton Creese (Shakopee, Minn.) and Shaeden Scheidt (Canton, S.D.). Listed below is more information on each of the new SCSU recruits.

Continue reading →

Shakopee wrestling ready to defend

The defending state champions are back and looking to repeat.

The Shakopee wrestling team, fresh off winning its first Class 3A state championship, are once again the team to beat this season.

Shakopee returns 11 of the 14 wrestlers from the team that defeated Stillwater in the championship match last season.

With that much talent returning, Shakopee starts the season ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by the Guillotine. Continue reading at www.swnewsmedia.com