Gophers wrestling commit Gavin Nelson is one of state’s top running backs

Everything about Gavin Nelson screams tough, physical and relentless.

The 210-pound senior is one of the top high school wrestling recruits in the nation. He’s built strong and sturdy — as can be said for most Simley High School wrestlers.

That sentiment holds up when you give him the ball on the football field, as well. Tackling the rugged running back is nearly as difficult as taking him down on the mat.

How would Spartans coach Chris Mensen describe him on the field?

“Bruising. Absolutely bruising,” he said. “He punishes defenses who try to tackle him one on one.” Continue reading at twincities.com →

Changing The Game – Gavin Nelson

By Brian Jerzak

After moving to Wisconsin as a baby, Gavin Nelson put together a stellar youth record wrestling and training in Wisconsin. When he entered junior high, Gavin and his family decided to move back to Minnesota – in part – to try to further Gavin's wrestling career. When Nelson first stepped into the Simley wrestling room as a 7th grader, the coaching staff threw him right in with the varsity. The new Spartans' first practice did not go well.

"My first Simley practice in 7th grade," Nelson said, "I got right into it with all the varsity guys. In my first practice, I threw up so much because I was not ready for that level of practice. Coach (Will) Short got me into shape quickly. I was not ready for that grind, but once I got used to it, it was a huge game-changer for me."

The game changed to the tune of becoming a three-time state place winner, a one-time state champion, and a member of the 2021 U.S. Cadet World Championships team.

Long before entering the Spartans' wrestling room, Nelson was playing youth soccer.

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Team USA finishes second at the Men’s Freestyle Cadet World Championships

Simley’s Gavin Nelson places fifth

Budapest, Hungary – The men’s freestyle portion of the Cadet World Championships drew to a close this evening. It was a three-horse race between Team USA, India, and Russia for the team title, and it came down to the very last match of the night. When the dust settled, India came out on top, winning their first Cadet team title in history. The U.S. claimed second and Russia settled for third.

While finishing runner-up after a stellar performance was bittersweet, the U.S. contingent had plenty to celebrate. At 45 kg, Bo Bassett became the second American to claim a Cadet World title this week. Bassett, who earned two pins and a technical fall en route to the finals, was the youngest competitor in his bracket at only 14 years old.

For gold, he squared off with Russia’s Alikhan Ashinov in a battle that was pivotal to the team race. Ashinov was the third wrestler to score the first takedown on Bassett in this tournament. Similarly to the others, he faired poorly. Continue reading at teamusa.org →