Cards on to state tourney

MINNETONKA — The Willmar wrestling team stormed through the Section 6AAA field and back into the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday.

The Cardinals defeated Minnetonka 61-9 in the championship match. They outscored their three section opponents 192-18 and posted wins in 37 of a possible 42 matches.

The Cards will compete in the section individual tournament Friday and Saturday at Wayzata High School. Continue reading at

Alexandria wrestling: Justin Cumberbatch returns for team sections after leaving the team in December

It’s been an up and down season for the Alexandria wrestling team, and the Cardinal coaches were recently faced with another challenge.

This one had to do with a decision that could greatly impact their chances at the Section 8AAA team tournament this Saturday.

Senior Justin Cumberbatch, a state champion at 195 pounds last winter, will return to the lineup after missing almost the entire season since leaving the team in early December. He will wrestle at 220 pounds when the Cardinals face Brainerd in the opening match of the 8AAA tournament at St. Cloud Tech. Continue reading at

Swensen overcomes it all to become one of Royals top wrestlers

Royals wrestling head coach Justin Smith likens senior Pavel Swensen to former New York Yankees famous closer Mariano Rivera.

Swensen is Woodbury’s finisher.

When Rivera walked onto the mound with the game on the line, you could chalk up a victory for the Yankees.

The same can be said about Swensen and the Royals. Continue reading at

200 wins and unfinished business

MAZEPPA — Joey Majerus has the curse of the highly successful. He has won 200 high school wrestling matches, yet it’s his 22 losses that he remembers more.

The Zumbrota-Mazeppa senior and five-year varsity wrestler replays the rare defeats in his mind, noting a missed opportunity for a takedown here or a failed escape attempt there.

“Every day,” he confirmed. “I think about what I could’ve done differently (to change an outcome).” Continue reading at

Lakeville South wrestling hungry for more firsts

Depth and new team unity have Lakeville South’s wrestlers ranked and pushing for more.

When Jon Zeidler goes to Buffalo Wild Wings with his Lakeville South wrestling teammates, he usually devours a massive helping of medium-glazed wings.

“I’ll get 25 or 30,” Zeidler said.

But not everyone on the team eats like Zeidler, who wrestles in the 195-pound weight class. Orion Hinchley, nearly 70 pounds lighter than Zeidler, oftentimes eats five wings or fewer.

“It depends on how hard [I’m] cutting weight for the next week,” Hinchley said. “We mostly just go there to hang out. They’re fun guys to be around.” Continue reading at

Maple Grove wrestler Doe fueled by new desire

Maple Grove senior Jebah Doe has come a long way since he was shot four years ago.

Jebah Doe’s first wrestling practice was done under duress. A friend had stolen his backpack and insisted the only way he could get it back was to show up.

Doe went to practice and hated it. He decided he wouldn’t come back.

His friend pulled the same trick the next day.

More than three years later, the Maple Grove senior, who overcame being shot in the summer before eighth grade, looks poised to make a run at his second trip to the Class 3A state tournament in as many years. Continue reading at

Scott-West faces four ranked foes in section wrestling

Teams are grappling for position as they prepare to enter section tournament time.

Every sport has sections that grab the attention of avid followers. There is one of significant note in the wrestling ranks — Class 2A, Section 2.

“The seeding will be a little complicated,” New Prague coach Greg Tikalsky said. Continue reading at