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Friends Fight for Greatness at MN State

By Brandon Paulson, 03/06/17, 12:15PM CST


17 State Champs, 57 Placers at MN/WI State High School Wrestling Tournaments

An awesome 2 weeks of MN and WI High School State Tournaments. Emotions are always high at the High School State Tournament as this is an end of a journey for many. 

When we opened up the facility in September of 2009, one of our stated goals was to improve MN Wrestling(now WI too). To do this, we had to create an atmosphere in the room that kids were not just in practice to help themselves, but also their practice partner. To be a good drill partner, to fight together, to push each other in the weight room and wrestling room, and help each other technically. Sometimes that meant the same guy you were going to meet in the state kids tournament(or any other tournament) that same weekend. This was crucial, as we have had these wrestlers set higher goals that most would seem logical.   Eventually the kids bought in to the idea(it took a little longer for the parents), and they all became friends, and teammates.

This past weekend I saw more hugs, and respect shown,from fellow competitors than I ever had a High School State Tournament.These kids have trained together, traveled the country together, went to camps together, and had sleepovers together since they were 9. More amazing, is that the crazy parents actually hang out together, even away from wrestling, as this has been a second family for many years. 

All these wrestlers have chased greatness on the mat since they were little. Although all of them haven't won a state title, many achieved greatness. Results are never guaranteed, but for us, it is about doing everything possible to put yourself in the best position to succeed. That is what many of these wrestlers have done in the past 8 years as they have fought each other daily in the practice room, always dreaming of that coveted state and national title.

Now, on to wrestling!

Congrats on all who participated at the MN and WI state tournament.  Every year we have moments that stick with us for a long time. Years past of TJ Ohara's dramatic pin, sweep of podium of 106AAA, Bergeland vs Hedin, and Mitchell McKee and his dad.

Here are some moments from this year-

Evan Lawrence! Maybe the guy who made me most proud with his 3rd place finish. Evan never placed at the youth state championships, was never the guy who would win on sheer athleticism, but worked his tail off, and implemented the technique shown. 

Watching Skyler Raymond win his placement match with 15 PINnacle youth wrestlers screaming for him, was awesome! He was a late comer to wrestling, and his love grew for the sport in just the past few years, great accomplishment

Brady Berge has had a natural feel for wrestling since he was very young. It has been a joy watching him wrestle and develop, another dominating performance!

Dumb vs Dumber, Robb vs Lloyd, State Champ vs State Champ, Friend vs Friend. You guys think that match was good, you should see the practice room. More like 20-19 variety. 

Greg Kerkvliet is a Sophomore.

Cashman scoring points

Our first girl to make it to State, Emily Shilson

Jones his 4th

Molitor vs LeMair- Have spent a lot of time with these boys, and they were both in pain as they had to wrestle each other in the wrestle backs. They both fought hard and came out as winners. It might have been the most shots I have seen Curty take!

Moves the made me smile-Sokol hiptoss, Wilson speed?, Stuhl reversal for 4 with seconds left to win state, Ballentyne OT cement mixer, Berge 2on1, Kerkvliet pick, Njos headlock, McKee underhook. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see a Schorr lateral drop ;)

Pace-love the high pace of Svihel, Droegenmueller, McKee, Berge, Struntz, Carlson, Robb, Lloyd, Shilson.

Before we get to my beloved stats; A thank you and congratulations to the High School Coaches of all these wrestlers! Thanks for promoting off season wrestling, thanks for supporting your wrestlers, and thanks for your tireless work. 

The credit for all these accomplishments shouldn't go to PINnacle, or to coaches, but to these wrestlers. Wrestling is such a demanding, painful, and hard sport, and these guys fight through adversity to "Be Great"

Stats for MN/WI State High School Tournaments that trained in one of our programs(not camps) from Spring 2016-March 2017

  • 17 State Champs- same as 2015, and 2016
  • Every State Champ participated in our HS Post Season and all but one(Noah Ryan) participated in the HS Pre-season program
  • State Champion at every weight from 106-220. This includes 106-170 in AAA with 126 being the exception
  • 57 State Placers(2nd most to last year)
  • 8 in the semifinals of Wisconsin state, a record
  • 5 finals matches with 2 PINnacle Wrestlers
  • Berge had 3 techs and a pin, Kerkvliet 3 pins and tech. 
  • Greg Kerkvliet wrestled 5:27....Total
  • Multiple State Titles- Cashman 2x, McKee 2x, Gliva 2x, Jones 4x, Stuhl 3x, Schorr 2x, Lloyd 2x, Berge 4x, Allar 2x

2017 MN and WI State Placers and Entrants

Name Weight School Place Head Coach
Reid Ballentyne 106AAA Stillwater Champion Keller
Aaron Cashman 113AAA Shakopee Champion Jackson
Patrick McKee 120AAA STMA Champion Lefebvre
Jake Gliva 126AA Simley Champion Short
Brent Jones 132AAA Shakopee Champion Jackson
Sam Stuhl 132W2 Ellsworth Champion Matzek
Keaton Schorr 138AA Kasson-Mantorville Champion Heidt
Tyler Eischens 138AAA Anoka Champion Springer
Alex Lloyd 145AAA Shakopee Champion Jackson
Alex Crowe 152AAA Shakopee Champion Jackson
Brady Berge 160AA Kasson-Mantorville Champion Heidt
Kenny O'Neil 160AAA Prior Lake Champion Block
Jake Allar 170AAA STMA Champion Lefebvre
Jared Florell 182AA Totino Grace Champion Svihel
Daniel(Greg) Kerkvliet 195AA Simley Champion Short
Garrett Joles 195W3 Boyceville Champion Olson
Noah Ryan 220AA Kasson-Mantorville Champion Heidt
Charlie Stuhl 106W2 Ellsworth 2nd  
Jake Svihel 113AA Totino Grace 2nd  
Trayton Anderson 113AAA Farmington 2nd  
Justin Sampson 120AA Waseca 2nd  
Clay Carlson 132AAA Willmar 2nd  
Jakob Bergeland 138AAA Centennial 2nd  
Peyton Robb 145AAA Owatonna 2nd  
Bobby Striggow 182AA Orono 2nd  
Max Crowe 106AAA Shakopee 3rd  
Ryan Sokol 113AA Simley 3rd  
Tanner Kroells 120AA Delano 3rd  
Colby Njos 120AAA Anoka 3rd  
Mike Smith 120W2 Amery 3rd  
Dylan Droegemueller 126AAA Anoka 3rd  
Evan Lawrence 160AA Mahtomedi 3rd  
Tony Struntz 160AAA St. Francis 3rd  
Anders Lantz 160W2 Ellsworth 3rd  
Cael Berg 106AA Simley 4th  
Jared Johnson 113AA Kasson-Mantorville 4th  
Rylee Molitor 126AAA Sartell-St Stephen 4th  
Sam Webster 138AAA Shakopee 4th  
Tyler Shilson 145AAA Centennial 4th  
Cole Skelton 145W2 Ellsworth 4th  
Riley Habisch 152AAA Buffalo 4th  
Lincoln Shinn 160AAA Willmar 4th  
Luke Clark 170W3 St. Croix Falls 4th  
Kyle Boeke 106AA Princeton 5th  
Joey Thompson 106AAA Maple Grove 5th  
Curtis LeMair 126AAA Prior Lake 5th  
Skyler Raymond 132AAA Farmington 5th  
Hunter Ranweiler 138AA New Ulm 5th  
Bryce Younger 138W1 New Richmond 5th  
 Kaden Spindler  145A West Central Area 5th  
Isaac Haman 145AA Kasson-Mantorville 5th  
Tanner Wiese 152AAA Forest Lake 5th  
Jacob Anderson 152W1 Hudson 5th  
Calvin Germinaro-Nahring 160AAA Anoka 5th  
Bret Wilson 126AAA Rogers 6th  
Nate Johnson 132AAA Hopkins 6th  
Nicholas Carline 152AAA Osseo 6th  
Camron Wigand 106AA South St. Paul DNP  
Colby Dunkel 106AA New Prague DNP  
Andrew Sanders 106AAA Minnetonka DNP  
Emily Shilson 106AAA Centennial DNP  
Hunter Lyden 106AAA East Ridge DNP  
Jared Spohn 106AAA Sauk Rapids-Rice DNP  
Nathan Nygaard 106AAA STMA DNP  
Patrick Lockwood 106AAA Mpls Washburn DNP  
Ryan Nosbush 113AA Mora DNP  
Robby Horsman 120AA Kasson-Mantorville DNP  
Nick Dunagan 120AAA Mounds View DNP  
Trey Kruse 120AAA Stillwater DNP  
Mitchell Anderson 120W1 Hudson DNP  
Brody Olson 126AA Stewartville DNP  
Casey Schlickenmeyer 126AAA Cambridge-Isanti DNP  
Ethan Devore 126AAA Mound-Westonka DNP  
Austin Sonnek 132AA North Branch DNP  
Nic Fite 132AA Fridley DNP  
Sean Howk 132AA New Ulm DNP  
Mitchell Hogue 132AAA Wayzata DNP  
Carsten Scherber 138AA Monticello DNP  
Connor Dehn 138AA Totino Grace DNP  
Zach Bigelbach 138AA Benilde-St Margarets DNP  
Mason Hall 138AAA St. Francis DNP  
TJ Turinske 138AAA White Bear Lake DNP  
Michael Menth 145AA Totino Grace DNP  
Aacoda Aitkin 145AAA Osseo DNP  
Lucas Van Dyck 152AA Orono DNP  
Grant Hendren 152AAA Lakeville South DNP  
Kyle Erickson 152AAA Hastings DNP  
Will Harter 152AAA Stillwater DNP  
Xander Falkenstein 152AAA Eden Prairie DNP  
Dan Herda 160AAA Wayzata DNP  
Garrett Whitehead 160AAA Park DNP  
Jack Graham 160AAA Mounds View DNP  
Grant Parrish 170AAA Forest Lake DNP  
Ben Nelson 182AA Mahtomedi DNP  
Zach Moon 182AA Simley DNP  
Jacob Scherber 182AAA Buffalo DNP  
Rowan Morgan 182AAA Mounds View DNP  
Tyler Dahlstron 182AAA St. Francis DNP  
Ben Lathrop 195AAA Anoka DNP  
Roth Stricker 195AAA Eagan DNP  
Griffin Thorn 220AAA Owatonna DNP  
Sam Horn 220AAA Eden Prairie DNP  
Colton Hellman 285AA Princeton DNP