Balanced attack to lead Hornets
A wrestler stands alone on a mat and the only thing that stands between him and victory is an opponent.
Points in wrestling do not come thanks to an assist, behind a block or on a good relay throw. It is because of this that the team aspect of wrestling is so often forgotten.
At Frazee, it is cherished.
One arm is raised after a match, but it takes many to hoist a championship trophy.
"The makeup of this team and the tradition of this team is that we always worry about the team aspect first," Frazee wrestling coach John Barlund said. "We focus on what will make the team better and it seems to bleed off on each other.
"Sometimes it becomes a badge of courage for that one guy who might not be a superstar on the team, but can still step up and be a positive contributor. A lot of times those guys are the guys that rise up and accept the challenges. That's what makes our team the best."
Frazee (14-0) is seeded No. 2 for the Minnesota Class 1A team wrestling state tournament Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Hornets will also have nine individuals competing in the state meet, as well.
The Hornets do not have one wrestler ranked in the top three by the website The Guillotine. What the Hornets do have is a wrestler ranked in the top 10 in 10 of the 14 weight classes.
"We have a lot of balance across the board," Barlund said. "We might not have a state champ, but we're going to have a lot of kids that contend for placement at state."
Bruce Lemon is one of two Frazee wrestlers ranked No. 4 in his weight class. Lemon describes the Hornets wrestling team essentially as an assembly line.
"We get each other amped up," Lemon said. "We try to start it off with a huge win down low and then it just keeps momentum building. It's perfect for a well-balanced team. We are a family and we all look out for each other. If something bad happens in the lineup, the next few guys pick up the slack and put the team on their back."
Tyler Ziegler is ranked No. 7 at 170 pounds for Frazee and has the formula for why no team has beaten the Hornets this season and how they've made 12 state trips, won three state championships and had four runner-up finishes since 1999.
"We don't have a single bad wrestler on the team," Ziegler said. "We don't have any superstars, but we don't have anyone who is weak at all. It guarantees us 14 possible wins. We don't have anyone that is for sure going to lose."
As for whether Lemon would rather have his hand raised Saturday at the individual finals or help raise a trophy Thursday for the team finals, there was no hesitation in his preference.
"Team by far," Lemon said. "You have something to share with 14 other guys. I'll take both, but the team comes first."
Hornets who will be competing in the individual portion of the tournament include Tanner Reetz (106 pounds), Byron Byer (113), Austin Skillings (126), Hunter Sorenson (132), Lemon (138), Erik Moltzan (145), Ziegler (170), Kody Vandeneykel (182) and Tony Reurink (heavyweight).