By Brian Jerzak
The state tournament is a great event. The electricity in the building – especially Saturday night during the individual finals – is spectacular. While the sheer number of people is dwarfed, the atmosphere in a packed gym during a section team tournament – in some ways – is even better. The 2AA semifinals featured three of the top six ranked teams in AA and a fourth that was deemed Lean and Mean by the latest Guillotine rankings. To say the atmosphere in New Prague Saturday night was electric would be an understatement.
“Our fans are awesome,” New Prague head coach Dan Wagner said. “They got everyone here. We told them that could be a difference maker – the atmosphere. Our kids wrestle better at home in that atmosphere, and the fans showed up.”
Sometimes in wrestling, the critical match of the dual takes place before the crowd is even settled into their seats. That was the case during the Section 2AA team finals between New Prague and Watertown-Mayer. Lightning struck early and paved the way to the Trojans’ 37-32 victory and a trip to the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament.
The Trojans and Royals would be tested to get to the finals. Although New Prague would win the match by a comfortable margin – 38-20, Coach Wagner knew it would take a complete team effort.