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Wrestling awards: West Central Area-A-B-E recognizes standout season

Anthony Sykora wins MVP Award after state championship season.

Reubens Swanson
West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestler Reubens Swanson grabs control of his opponent during the Class A state individual tournament. Swanson was one of eight Knights to wrestle at the individual state tournament this season as he led WCA-A-B-E in takedowns (141), escapes (102) and total match points (406) throughout the season.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The 2021-22 wrestling season was a memorable one for the West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville Knights. The Knights crowned an individual state champion in junior Anthony Sykora and took third place in the MSHSL state team championships.

Sykora was picked as the team’s most valuable wrestler and the most exciting wrestler. Sykora had a 47-5 record this season and finished with 22 pins, five tech falls, 102 takedowns, 373 match points and scored the most team points out of any Knight with 243.

Freshman Hunter Gruchow, who finished sixth at the state tournament and had a 45-14 record, was named the team’s hardest-working wrestler of the year. Gruchow led the team in pins with 30 and had the third most match points with 322.

Anthony Sykora
Anthony Sykora / MVP

Sykora and Gruchow were two of the eight Knights that qualified for the state tournament.

Seniors Reubens Swanson, Ashton Danner, Colton Lindquist, Solomon Wales, as well as junior Beau Robinson and sophomore Will Rustan also qualified for the state tournament.

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Swanson had a 44-10 record and led the Knights in takedowns with 141, escapes with 102 and match points with 406.

Rustan went 30-18 this past season and took home the title of the team’s most improved wrestler. Rustan picked up nearly half of his wins with pins (14) and had 159 match points.

Seventh-grader Owen Gruchow went 32-17 and was named the team’s rookie wrestler of the year. Freshman Jeremy Blascyk went 8-13 and earned the Knight’s Wrestling Team Spirit Award.

Owen Gruchow led the Knights in reversal points with 28. Jeremy Blascyk earned all of his wins by pinning his opponent.

Nine Knights earned perfect attendance awards, both Gruchows, Sykora, Danner, Rustan, sophomore Adam Lohse, sophomore Kolby Peters, junior Justin Blascyk and 8th-grader Ezekiel Sieckert.

Peters earned the most valuable wrestler award and hardest worker award on JV.

The Knights had a strong season in the classroom as well, as they won a Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Gold Award with a 3.67 GPA. Lindquist received MWCA Academic All-State honors by posting a 3.88 GPA.

Rustan, Hunter Gruchow, Lindquist, Shad Swanson, Caleb Birdsall, Jeremy Blascyk, Adam Lohse, Carter Lohse, Sykora and Reubens Swanson helped guide the Knights to their Gold Award placement.

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These 10, along with Terina Blascyk, Gavin Flint, Tyler Stone, Blake Flint, Kjersten Nibbe, Annie Brunkow, Jaime Johnson, Owen Gruchow, Ashton Danner, Brodie Brunkow, Logon Long, Sam Olson, Dylan Johnson, Dierk Goeden and Lucea Wales all had a 3.0 GPA throughout the season.

A total of 12 Knights earned MWCA and The Guillotine pin awards.

Robinson and Owen Gruchow earned the 25 pin award, while Adam Lohse, Hunter Gruchow and Lindquist earned the 50 pin award. Reubens Swanson, Hunter Gruchow, Adam Lohse, Solomon Wales and Danner earned the 75 win award. Lindquist earned the 100 win award. Sykora earned the 150 win award and currently has 175 wins.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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