Max Ramberg was a runner-up at the state tournament his Junior year, lost in the blood round of Fargo in both Greco and Freestyle after his Junior year, and lost in the blood round of Super 32 his Senior year. All very impressive feats, but all just short of his goals. Max is as dedicated an athlete that we have at PINnacle, and as well liked as anyone. If you know Max, you love Max. I was elated when he came through and won his High School State title this year. Being a senior, Max could have easily trained a little bit, but taken the Spring and Summer off with college approaching. Instead, Max worked his tail off in the room, coming to extra practices, and staying after practices. Not only did Max All-American in Freestyle, but he also goes on to win by technical fall in the finals to become a Junior National Greco-Roman Champion. In typical Max fashion, his celebration was to waive and say "Hi Mom" to the camera. After Max got off the stage, I jumped into his arms in a celebratory hug (I wasn't letting that 215lb monster jump into mine)! I get emotional about it still. It isn't just the winning, it is the journey Max has been on. It is the work and time he has put in, the struggles he has been through, and seeing wrestlers set a goal, have a dream, and accomplish these goals. That is why we coach. I will miss coaching Max as he heads off to college, but I know he will always be a part of PINnacle Wrestling.
Wrestling both styles (and wrestling Cadet and Junior for Women) at Fargo is tough. You are there for a week, making weight 3 times, changing the style of wrestling mid-week, and trying to find a way to grind out victories against the best wrestlers in the country. Earning All-American status in both styles means you probably had 14-20 matches, and had to fight through ailments, complete body soreness, and utter exhaustion. Bryce Burkett, Cito Tuttle, Alan Koehler, Zach Hanson, Ryder Rogotzke, and Max Ramberg were All-Americans in both styles. Ella Pagel, Aspen Blasko, and Gigi Bragg were All-Americans in the Cadets and Junior Women's division.
Bryce and Ella both became National Champions and were both double finalists. Bryce won the 16U Greco title by beating the wrestler who defeated him in the finals of Freestyle. Ella won the 16U Freestyle title and had a great come from behind victory in the Junior division to make her 2nd final.
Audio of Jared and I Mic'd up during Bryce Freestyle Final starting at 3:25 mark
Other great bouts; Alan Koehler beating Braeden Davis, with a couple hip tosses, in the 3rd place match of freestyle, Zach Hanson avenging a greco loss with a couple reverse lift bombs for 7th, Eli Paulson grinding out a win in the blood round 15 minutes after a hard fought loss, Carter Ban with a 4 point throw with 1 second left to win which was immediately after Koy Buesgens pulled a match out late, and Antony Tuttle winning his Greco - Roman blood round match his last tournament of his senior year to become an All-American. Antony knew this win was a "must-win" match. Not because this could be his last, but because he saw the anger in my face when the tournament director was about to forfeit his match as he wasn't on time. He knew he only had one choice. You still owe me those 50 pull-ups Antony for being late.
For us, this is also a goodbye tournament to the Seniors. To see Antony, go out as an All-American, and Max finish the tournament with a title was a fairytale ending. Unfortunately, I didn't get that last shot with some of our injured senior athletes that didn't get to compete. Some of these kids we have coached since they were 6 years old. They are not forgotten. Two of our seniors, Jore Volk and Bennett Berge, will be competing in Sofia, Bulgaria for the World Championships and I will be there to help them win a medal for the USA!
Unfortunately, Jared became sick when he woke up for day 6. Honestly, I would think this would happen more during this week. I'm blaming it on him quitting Spark this year. Fargo doesn't have many breaks with wrestlers in each division. We tried to get to as many matches as we could, but we still missed some. We did our best. Shout out to all the MN Storm coaches this week, and thanks for having us part of the team.
FARGO BY THE NUMBERS - PINnacle Wrestling
National Champions - 3 - Max Ramberg, Ella Pagel, Bryce Burkett
Finalist - 9 - Pagel(2), Burkett(2), Ramberg, Bragg, Blasko, Rogotzke, Charmoli
Cadet Women Freestyle All-Americans-4
Cadet Men Freestyle AA - 4
Junior Women Freestyle AA - 3
Junior Men Freestyle AA - 7
Cadet Freestyle AA - 5
Junior Greco AA - 6
Total Competitors - 88
All - Americans - 29
Pagel - Cadet Champion, and Junior Finalist
Burkett - Cadet Greco Champion, and Free Finalist
Ramberg - Junior Greco Champion, and Free 8th
Bragg - Cadet Women Finalist, and Junior 3rd
R. Rogotzke - Junior Greco Finalist, and Free 4th
Blasko - Junior Women Finalist, and Cadet 5th
Koehler - Junior Free 3rd, and Greco 3rd
Hanson - Junior Free 3rd, and Greco 7th
C.Tuttle - Cadet Free 4th, and Greco 6th
Charmoli - Cadet Free Finalist
A. Tuttle - Junior Greco 5th
Wester - Junior Free 5th
Eller - Cadet Greco 5th
Paulson - Junior Greco 6th
A.Rogotzke - Women Cadet 6th
Wynia - Junior Free 6th
Morvari - Junior Free 6th
Neitzel - Cadet Greco7th
C.Mills - Cadet Greco 8th
A.Carlson - Cadet Free 8th