The Minnewaska wrestling team will try to build on an 8-14 season after losing just two guys to graduation.
The Lakers return nine letter winners from that roster, including last year’s state participant Ryan Stottler. The junior is back this season with hopes of leading his team against a talented West Central Conference after going 21-11 last season.
The Lakers are a young group with Brook Wollschlager being the only senior on that list of returning letter winners. Junior Taylor Lundebrek is back with the team’s best win-loss record after finishing 24-15 a year ago.
Minnewaska will be going up against a loaded field in both the WCC and the Section 5A tournament. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City is in both of those and is ranked No. 2 in the preseason Class A ratings from The Guillotine. Lakers’ head coach Wes Tessman also sees Dawson-Boyd-Lac qui Parle Valley as a threat in what will be a new-look WCC.
“In the conference, unlike past years when teams wrestled a West Central North or a West Central South schedule, all of the teams in the West Central Conference will now be wrestling each other in dual meets or triangulars,” Tessman said. “And once again, all of the WCC teams will be competing in one conference tournament…With as talented and competitive as the WCC is in wrestling, this should prove to be one of the best wrestling tournaments in the area.”
That WCC tournament will take place at Minnewaska on January 26. Come tournament time, Tessman feels Paynesville will join ACGC as the team to beat in the 5A field. Kimball and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa are also teams ranked in the top 25 that could have something to say about that.
2012 MINNEWASKA WRESTLING
RETURNING LETTER WINNERS (Weight Class) – SENIORS – Brooke Wollschlager (152-160); JUNIORS – Ryan Stottler (160-170), Taylor Lundebrek (170), JR Formo (195-220); SOPHOMORES – Joseph Weaver (106-113), Caleb Blaisdell (138); FRESHMEN – Spencer Winter (106-113), Weston Lardy (132); Bradley Jacobs (195-220)
PROSPECTS – SENIORS – Jacob Lutterman, Julius Rohrbach; JUNIORS – Jacob Peterson, Austin Moe, Gary Steffensen; SOPHOMORES – Philip Hott, Bret Ingebretson; FRESHMAN – Lance Miller
COACHES – Head coach – Wes Tessman; Assistant coaches – Lee Braaten, Dieken Swalla, Dane Ankeny