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Wrestling 49: Minnesota

11/15/2012
Steve Elwood and Pat Priebe

With the high school wrestling season' start approaching, InterMat will be taking fans across the United States of America on a tour of scholastic wrestling. From now until the middle of November, InterMat will introduce fans to the top high school senior wrestlers in the 49 states with scholastic wrestling. From Alaska to Florida, and Maine to California, fans will gain exposure to future college and senior level stars.

The top ten most wanted list from Minnesota has some very well-known names and then a few gems only Minnesota/Midwest fans know. Class AA takes up half this list with Simley taking the honor of most wrestlers with three, while Kasson-Mantorville serves up the remaining two.

1. Jake Short (Simley)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 145/152
Projected College Weight Class: 149/157
College: Minnesota

Jake Short (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Analysis: I haven't been able to find anyone who would argue against the top choice. Jake Short has accomplished more in the last four years than any senior on this list. He is the No. 1-ranked 145-pound wrestler in the nation and is currently slotted as the No. 8 recruit by InterMat. He will be attempting to win his fourth state title and in the process will break every Simley wrestling record. He has been a Cadet and Junior National folkstyle champion. He has also won a Cadet National freestyle title, and was runner-up in the Junior National freestyle competition in 2011 and third this past summer. Short comes from a deep wrestling history of success as his dad and three uncles were all state champions. But none accomplished as much as Jake in high school. His career record is 189-20

2. Mitch Bengtson (Saint Cloud Apollo)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 138
Projected College Weight Class: 141/149
College: North Dakota State

Mitch Bengtson (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Analysis: The No. 2-ranked senior on this list owns one of Minnesota's most cherished, yet somewhat obscure records. Bengtson ran up 179 wins without taking a loss. The streak was put to a halt in the state finals last season by Eden Prairie's Sam Brancale. Nevertheless, Bengtson is a five-time state placer with three state titles. His overall record is a gaudy 223-6 with 162 pins. His success has crossed over to the international styles where Bengtson is a two-time Fargo runner-up in Greco-Roman, and a one-time third-place finisher in freestyle. Bengtson is currently ranked as the No. 22 recruit in the country and fifth in the nation at 138 pounds by InterMat.

3. Broc Berge (Kasson-Mantorville)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 195
Projected College Weight Class: 184/197
College: Iowa

Broc Berge (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Analysis: Rounding out the top three is a wrestler who until just recently has been keeping a rather low profile nationally. Berge shot up on everyone's radar with an explosive runner-up finish in Fargo this past summer in freestyle at 195 pounds. This followed three very successful in-season performances as Berge is a three-time state placer and two-time state champion. Berge has also won the prestigious Minnesota Christmas tournament twice. His career record is 126-6 and InterMat has him slotted as the No. 25 recruit. He is currently the No. 2-ranked 195-pound wrestler in the nation by InterMat.

4. Nick Wanzek (Simley)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 170
Projected College Weight Class: 165/174
College: Minnesota

Nick Wanzek (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Analysis: The second of the Simley entrants comes in at No. 4. Nick Wanzek has been Short's best friend, as both compete as football players and are two of the nation's top wrestlers. Wanzek will be attempting to win his third state title to go along with a runner-up finish. He has had plenty of offseason success as both a Cadet and Junior National folkstyle champion. This past summer he was a runner-up in the Junior National freestyle competition in Fargo. Wanzek's career record going into his senior campaign is 174-20. He is ranked as the No. 27 senior and the fifth-ranked wrestler at 160 pounds by InterMat.

5. Kyle Gliva (Simley)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 126
Projected College Weight Class: 125
College: North Dakota State

Kyle Gliva (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Analysis: The last of the Simley gang to enter our top ten is Kyle Gliva. This Minnesota lightweight has quietly gathered some of the more cherished hardware in the sport. Gliva enters his senior season with a ninety-percent winning percentage and a career record of 121-13. Like Wanzek, he will be taking a run at his third state championship, to go along with a runner-up finish. Gliva is a past Cadet National folkstyle runner-up, as well as a Cadet National freestyle All-American. He has been a part of four out of the last five Simley state championship teams.

6. Daniel Woiwor (Apple Valley)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 160
Projected College Weight Class: 157/165
College: Iowa State

Daniel Woiwor (Photo/The Guillotine)
Analysis: No top ten list in Minnesota would seem complete without an entrant from Apple Valley, a national wrestling powerhouse. Woiwor shows up here as the nation's No. 51 recruit and is currently ranked No. 10 at 160 pounds by InterMat. He is one of the few Minnesota wrestlers who can say he is a five-time state placer going into his senior season. He won his lone state title as a freshman and has a career record of 179-31. Woiwor won a title at the NUWAY Southwest Kickoff Classic a year ago and was third this fall. It will be interesting to see how Woiwor recovers from a shoulder injury, as well as moving down two weight classes in Apple Valley's lineup

7. Darick Vancura (Jackson County Central)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 160/170
Projected College Weight Class: 165/174
College: Undecided

Darick Vancura (Photo/The Guillotine)
Analysis: Vancura is arguably Minnesota's most underrated senior. He is a four-time state entrant, placing third in 2010 at 130 pounds, second in 2011 at 145 pounds, and winning a title in 2012 at 160 pounds. He enters his senior year with a 168-31 career. He is a three-time USA Wrestling folkstyle All-American, placing sixth in 2009 at 119 pounds, fifth in 2010 at 140 pounds, and eighth in 2011 at 160 pounds. He will be one of the leaders on his team as JCC seeks a seventh state team title in Class A.

8. Taner Trembley (Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 138
Projected College Weight Class: 133/141
College: Undecided

Taner Trembley (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Analysis: Trembley has shot up on everyone's radar in the last few weeks. He won the 2012 InterMat JJ Classic (after finishing third in the event in 2011) and followed that with an impressive championship trophy at Iowa's Preseason Nationals. He is a four-time state entrant, placing fourth in 2010, fifth in 2011, and first in 2012. Trembley also took third in the Cadet National folkstyle competition in 2011. He enters his senior campaign with a career record of 163-50 and will likely be the favorite to win a second state title. He is the complete package with very few weaknesses in his game. He seems ready to take the next step to the college level.

9. Adam Cooling (Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 152/160
Projected College Weight Class: 157/165
College: Undecided

Adam Cooling (Photo/The Guillotine)
Analysis: Cooling is another highly sought-after wrestler from a small high school. He enters his senior year with a career record of 157-40. Cooling is a four-time state entrant, winning a title in 2012 at 145 pounds in class A. He was also a state fourth-place finisher in 2011 at 140 pounds. Cooling owns a pair of fourth-place finishes nationally in the Junior National folkstyle competition at 145pounds and NHSCA (Virginia Beach) in 2011 at 140 pounds. He was runner-up at the 2011 InterMat JJ Classic, falling in the finals to four-time state champion Brandon Kingsley of Apple Valley.

10. Nate Thomas (Kasson-Mantorville)
Projected 2012-2013 High School Weight Class: 126
Projected College Weight Class: 125/133
College: Minnesota

Nate Thomas (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Analysis: Thomas surprised many in the state as a freshman, winning both the Minnesota Christmas Tournament as well as finishing as the state champion at 103 pounds. His sophomore season followed with more of the same success, but finished runner-up at both of those events. He spent most of last season with a severe injury suffered early in the season. Recently his comeback has begun with an impressive gold medal at the Junior Olympics, finishing 18-0. He is also undefeated at The Clash (12-0). His career record is 92-13.

This story also appears in the Nov. 16 issue of The Guillotine. The Guillotine has been covering amateur wrestling in Minnesota since 1971. Its mission is to report and promote amateur wrestling at all levels -- from youth and high school wrestling to college and international level wrestling. Subscribe to The Guillotine.

Comments

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bgaukel (1) about 2 years ago
These features are great. When are you going to finish covering the other states (or at lease the other major wrestling states like Iowa)?