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Eidenschink ready to take advange of last chance as Gopher wrestler

BRENT EIDENSCHINK (right) shows the correct hand placement for a youth wrestler during the Laker Wrestling Camp this past week.

All that Brent Eidenschink wants is one more chance.

After four years of adversity caused by a multitude of injuries suffered during Eidenschink's time as a University of Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestler, he will get that last chance this year.

And expect Eidenschink to take 100 percent, full advantage of it.

The former Detroit Lakes wrestling standout committed to the Gophers after his senior year.

He made a promise to the program and Gopher head coach J Robinson that he will follow through on his commitment -- no matter what.

"The only things which would have kept me off the mat were if the program was folded or I couldn't physically be out there," Eidenschink said.

Unfortunately, the latter of those two things hit Eidenschink -- over and over and over again.

From his shoulders to his knees, every season for Eidenschink has been affected by a season-ending injury.

Eidenschink became a rarity when he entered college, as a true freshman seeing action under Robinson.

He finished with an overall record of 10-11, making his future look bright as a Gopher 197-pounder.

Eidenschink started his second season 7-3, before being redshirted after an injury cut his year short.

When the ex-Laker was healthy, he shined, winning the Junior Pan American Tournament in 2008.

Robinson moved Eidenschink down to 184 pounds for his junior year, but a knee injury in mid-December derailed his season again.

During his spring training regimen, he tore a tendon in his bicep while trying to make the World Team in Greco-Roman.

"I just tried to come back too quickly," Eidenschink said.

Last October, his string of injuries continued, as he dislocated a shoulder, which was a direct result of his torn tendon the previous spring.

By December, Eidenschink regained his starting spot, only to end up back in the training room with another torn up knee.

Then another torn tendon in his other bicep officially kept him off the mat, yet again.

But after all the obstacles and frustration Eidenschink has had to fight through, he remains determined to take his final season as a Gopher as far as he can.

"I'm training better and more smart and the only way I will not compete is if I can't physically," Eidenschink said. "Pain will not stop me, just another injury will."

There are a couple of perfect scenarios which could make all that injury adversity worthwhile, as Eidenschink cashes in his final chip.

"Being an All-American is something I've always dreamed about," he said. "But to just qualify for the NCAA's and gain some points for the team for a National Championship would be more than good enough."

Even after experiencing a life's worth of frustrations in four years, Eidenschink knows his opportunity to wrestle as a Gopher was more than worth every second.

"I have zero regrets," Eidenschink stated. "One thing Coach Robinson tells us is to live your life with no regrets.

"I've been asked, 'Why not give up after all those injuries?' But I gave my promise I would follow through and what if this last year is the one I'm healthy for all season long? Giving up never crossed my mind."

Eidenschink also stays away from the "what if's."

Like, what if he didn't have any injuries throughout his college career?

"I never try to think of that, although I know so much could have happened," Eidenschink said. "It could drive me crazy, but it's just something no one can control."

So when Eidenschink prepares for his last season in the Maroon-and-Gold, don't expect any quit -- expect nothing but 100 percent determination.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.