Blaze Nelson earns Alexandria's MVP Award

Sparr, Teaser, Runge, Bryce, Fettig, Rodel, McGrane all take home honors after Cardinals' 15-win season.

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Alexandria sophomore Blaze Nelson (right) earned the Cardinals' MVP honor this past season after leading the team in points (166), while racking up 14 pins and 51 takedowns on his way to a 32-6 record. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

The Alexandria wrestling team posted a 15-17 dual record as a team and qualified six athletes for the state preliminary rounds out of Section 8AA in Mason McGrane (106), Blaze Nelson (126), Kelly Johnson (145), Tate Runge (152), Mason Teaser (170) and Luke Maanum (220).

Many of those athletes were honored with team awards after the Cardinals held their season-ending banquet on April 25, with Nelson, a sophomore, earning Alexandria’s MVP Award after leading this team in points (166). Nelson finished the season with a team-best 32-6 record. He racked up 14 pins and 51 takedowns.

Senior AJ Sparr won the Spirit Award and the Big Ole Award during his final season with the Cardinals. Sparr had a 19-6 record as he finished with 106 team points, 10 pins and 26 takedowns.

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Alexandria wrestlers (left to right) Mason Teaser, Hardest Worker; AJ Sparr, Big Ole Award; JP Rodel, Most Falls; Tate Runge, Most Improved; and Mason McGrane, Most Takedowns, all earned recognition from the Cardinals' postseason banquet. (Contributed photo)


Teaser won the Hardest Worker Award. He posted a 25-14 record behind 10 pins and 43 takedowns on his way to racking up 124 team points.

Runge was the team’s most-improved wrestler after finishing with a 25-12 record. He had nine pins, 36 takedowns and 121 points.

McGrane added the award for the most takedowns on the team with 52 as the freshman posted a 30-10 record. It was a breakout season for McGrane, who finished sixth at the Class AA individual tournament at 106 pounds. He had 15 pins and 147 team points.

McGrane’s 15 pins were second on the team to only JP Rodel (26-8), who earned the Most Falls Award with 16. Rodel added 28 takedowns and 147 points to his season totals.

Nolan Fettig (left) and Brenden Bryce both earned the Diamond in the Rough Award for the Alexandria wrestling team. (Contributed photo)

Brenden Bryce and Nolan Fettig earned the Diamond in the Rough Award for the Cardinals. Bryce had two pins, 20 takedowns and 12 wins, and Fettig posted a 2-0 record

Teaser, Nelson and Johnson have all been named captains for next year as they lead this team into the offseason.


Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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