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Spanswick shows no rust in return

Osakis junior Tyler Spanswick has surprised even himself a little bit with the kind of success he has had since returning from a football injury to wrestle at 195 pounds.

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Spanswick was hoping to have a standout season in football before those plans were put on hold after he suffered a broken leg in the season opener against Browerville on August 29.

“I was rooting to come back for playoffs in football, and I rushed it too much and kind of hurt it a little more,” Spanswick said. “Then I was just shooting for wrestling, so I did my therapy and got ready for wrestling season.”

Spanswick was out of action for more than four months before he got back on the mat in early January. But rust has certainly not been an issue for him since his return.

Spanswick was 10-0 after a forfeit win at 195 pounds against West Central Area last Friday. Of those 10 wins, two were by forfeit and the rest were by fall. He came back on Saturday and had two more pins, including one against a big, strong opponent in WCA’s Hunter Fick during the semifinals of the Park Region championships.

Spanswick finally did drop his first match of the season against New York Mills’ Tyler Patron in the championship at 195 pounds. He added his first decision win on Monday as he wrestled at 182 pounds and beat Paynesville’s Anthony Wendlandt 4-2. That gave him a 13-1 record with 10 pins overall.

“The first couple matches were pretty different, and then I figured it out from last year,” Spanswick said. “I got into the loop and just got ready to go. [My leg] feels strong. After I broke it and did all my therapy, it feels pretty good.”

Spanswick is also having this success despite being outweighed by most of his opponents at 195. He struggled with injuries last season while wrestling at 160 pounds. Getting down to that weight proved to be an issue, so he felt a good fit would be at 195.

Head coach Joey Andreasen said he was right at that weight when he came off the injury a few weeks ago. Now with all the calories burnt during practice, he is closer to 183 pounds. Spanswick might not have the weight advantage on a lot of opponents, but he uses his athleticism to make up for that.

“I am pretty surprised,” head coach Joey Andreasen said of Spanswick’s fast start. “Last year, he was 8-8 in the matches that he wrestled. And he was always injured and he really never got to practice that much. I think maturing and moving up in weight a little bit; he is so athletic for a 195 pounder. He can do front handsprings and things like that that most 195 pounders can’t do.”

Spanswick is plenty strong himself. Andreasen said he benches 300 pounds, and he’s looking forward to seeing him go up against some state-ranked competition.

“We need to get him some mat time because he’s only been to the second period like once,” Andreasen said. “So we don’t know how he’s going to react if he ever hits minute number four with his conditioning. It hasn’t happened yet, but he’s certainly been a great addition to the team.”

Spanswick hasn’t made a state tournament before in his high school career. Those are his goals as he tries to stay healthy and build on a fast start to his season.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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