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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A Program and Community on the Rise – Stillwater Wrestling

High school wrestling is a sport of numbers. Get that last takedown, extend the margin of victory, work hard for the pin, fight off your back; it all helps your team win. All those numbers lead to team victories. Numbers drive youth, middle school, and varsity success as well. The more wrestlers that try the sport, the better chance of finding the right kids to help the team. Stillwater head coach Tim Hartung has numbers in all the right places. Possibly the most important number is his number of community members that have gotten involved in Stillwater’s rising program.

Growing up in Wisconsin, Hartung’s start in the sport was an escape, an escape from doing his daily chores.

“We grew up on a dairy farm, and my uncle asked us if we wanted to come with our cousins to a local tournament,” Hartung said. “My brother and I looked at each other – anything to get us out of chores, and we are in.”

It didn’t take long before Hartung was hooked.

“We were strong farm kids, so we did well right away, and my love of wrestling grew from there. I liked the physicality and the sense of individual accomplishment. Being out there all by yourself and beating another competitor – it was a feeling that was so different and rewarding from other sports.”

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Gopher Alumni Corner: Two-time NCAA Champion Tim Hartung

Former Gophers 197-pounder Tim Hartung, a three-time All-American and two-time national champion, checked-in with GopherSports to look back at his Gophers career and see where it has led him.

Hartung, seventh all-time for the Gophers with 133 victories and fourth all-time with 48 pins, finished his career with a pair of national championships at 197-pounds. Hartung still lives in Minnesota with his family and remains connected to the wrestling community. Continue reading at gophersports.com

Hartung takes the reins for Ponies

A familiar face has been named the new head coach for the Stillwater wrestling program.

After serving as an assistant for the Ponies each of the past two seasons, Tim Hartung was recently promoted to head coach according to SAHS Activities Director Ricky Michel.

“We’re excited to have him here and I think the wrestling program is in great hands,” Michel said. “Obviously he’s very knowledgeable and he has experience as a head coach. He’s highly respected in the wrestling community here. I think Stillwater wrestling is on an upswing and I think he will take it and run with it and do very well with it. We’re extremely happy.”

The decision was hardly a surprise for Hartung, who coached at Iowa State before returning to Minnesota and coaching at the high school level at Eagan and Wayzata. His involvement in the Stillwater Area Wrestling Club (SAW) began in 2014. Continue reading at www.hometownsource.com

The Guillotine – January 1, 2010

The January 1, 2010 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Minnesota Christmas Tournament | Big Bear Tournament | Lace ‘Em Up | Open Tournament Calendar | Milestones | High School Ratings | MWCA Report | One-on-One with Tim Hartung | Years Ago | Minnesota College Connection | Officially Speaking | Fastest Falls | Christmas Tournament Action | SMSU - Return to the Past | Three fathers - Three sons | Ask the Doc | Through the Eyes of Mom | Where Have They Gone? - Stan Christ | Schmoker Honored | Upcoming Camps, Clinics, and Training | The Clash Brackets | The Clash 8 Field Update | High School Results | College Results.

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The Guillotine – January 26, 2007

The January 26, 2007 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: National Duals | MWCA President‘s Report | Lace ‘em up | Open Tournament Calendar | Up on My Soap Box | The View From The Matbird Seat | Wrestling Hall of Fame to honor seven | Class A Ratings | Class AA Ratings | Class AAA Ratings | Finding direction on the mat | Officially Speaking | Montini wins The Clash | National Duals | Ask the Doc | Milestones | High School Section Tournaments | Getting back to the mat | One-on-one with Tim Hartung | Years Ago | Through the Eyes of Mom | Fastest Falls | New coaches ready to start careers | Minnesota area college results | High school tournament results.

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