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Piepenburg a leader for the Cardinals

Blaze Fugina | Echo Press Senior Trent Piepenburg squares up Willmar’s Austin Miley during their match last Friday night. Miley came into the night ranked 10th in the Class AAA polls at 132 pounds, but it was Piepenburg who got the 5-2 win. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Trent Piepenburg continues to climb the all-time leaderboard for career wins on the Alexandria wrestling team.

But Piepenburg brings more to the Cardinals then more than 100 wins in his career. As a senior wrestler he has a strong work ethic that has rubbed off on his teammates.

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“He’s a consummate professional,” head coach Tom Ellison said. “He is always in here, he is always working and he is always on task.”

Ellison noticed many of the team’s wrestlers have picked up on the hard work that Piepenburg puts in at their team practices. This leadership has only helped the Cardinals’ younger wrestlers become more successful.

“Blake Olhausen has picked up on that. Dylan Kriese has picked up on that,” Ellison said about Piepenburg’s dedication. “That work ethic that has allowed him to be successful is rubbing off on the other guys. It’s a great person to have in the room.”

Although the Cardinals lost their first Central Lakes Conference match to Willmar Friday, Piepenburg gave the team a big boost by winning a 5-2 decision at 132 pounds over the 10th-ranked wrestler in the state, Austin Miley.

In his senior year, Piepenburg would like to see himself and the Cardinals finish the season strong. Last year, Piepenburg had goals to qualify for the state tournament as an individual but ended up taking fourth place at 113 pounds at the Section 8AAA meet.

“Individually, it didn’t go so well last year and I keep that in the back of my head,” Piepenburg said. “Every day I think, ‘It’s not going to be like last year. It’s going to be different.’”

The Cardinal wrestlers also feel they have a shot at qualifying as a team for the state wrestling meet. Last year, Alexandria fell to eventual champion Moorhead in Section 8AAA semifinals 41-24.

“The team, definitely, if we put together a good run we could make it to state,” he said.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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