Wrestling team proves they’re worthy of attention

Elise Sommers, Staff writer

There is something to be said for ending things with a bang, as the South High wrestling team found this past weekend.  Instead of a quiet season end celebration, they sent four wrestlers to the Minnesota State competition, and won the City Championship title for the sixth year running.  Not too shabby.

“I had a pretty good idea that I was going to go to State, cause I was really close last year, so this year I was just determined to go,” stated junior Brett Peterson, one of the wrestlers that went on to the competition.  He was accompanied by teammates Amin Buta, Brandon Strong, and Kern Wilson.

“All of us that are going are really excited,” Peterson said, “I know me and Brandon are really excited.  We were both really close to going to State last year, and we both lost upsetting matches.  It feels good to qualify this year.”

According to Peterson, the State wrestlers got lucky in their round set up, or draw.  Going through an entire season, wrestlers often face the same competition that they will meet in the final tournament.

“Throughout the season I faced most of the kids I had to wrestle,” Wilson said.  “I knew I had a very high possibility of making it.”

Peterson echoed the positive sentiment in the week before for the entire team.
“Most of us got pretty good draws, meaning we don’t go against really good wrestlers right away.”

Senior Kern Wilson wanted to go to state beyond his athletic goals.  He had a message.
“I wanted to show that you didn’t have to be a five year wrestler to go to State, you could be brand new.  As long as you have the mindset, anything is possible,” said Wilson, a first year wrestler.  As a rookie, Wilson faced challenges that more experienced wrestlers would have faced in previous years.

“A lot of running, lifting weights.  A lot of having mental toughness. At first it was keeping my weight down,” Wilson remembered, referring to a grueling wrestling practice of cutting weight to fit a certain category and improve overall fitness.
The weeks leading up to the tournament were a mix of intense, relaxed, and regular for the wrestlers.

“The last couple weeks have been a little bit easier just to make sure we’re well rested for State,” said Peterson.  “It does get a little bit more intense sometimes because there’s more on the line. The fans get more excited, and especially the finals round is really intense.”

As six year running Minneapolis champions, the South team has a reputation to uphold, and their fans appreciate it.

“A lot of people were there supporting the team,” said Wilson.  “I got to see that this state really supports wrestling 100%.”

Within the school, however, Peterson has felt that, as a wrestler, he is less acknowledged.
“Now that I’m going to State a lot of people have said congratulations, but other than that people don’t really talk about it much.  It’s mostly just parents and stuff,” Peterson stated.

At the end of their season, Wilson already has high hopes for next year.  As a senior, he predicted good results.

“Our team will be good.  We have a lot of young talent,” Wilson said.  “Hopefully we will be seven time City Champions back to back!”