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Published February 02 2010

Collins: Otters’ Thorson 29-0, eyes state tourney

Fergus Falls’ Colton Thorson is making short work of his opposition on the wrestling mat this season.

He must be saving up for a long run through the state tournament.

Thorson is a sparkling

29-0 this season and has earned the top ranking at 215 pounds in Class 2A.

The matches haven’t taken that long. Thorson has 21 pins in his 29 victories.

“He’s a competitor that’s always had the willingness to work hard, and now you’re seeing all of that pay off,” Otters wrestling coach Mark Aho said. “When he steps on that mat, he’s ready to go, and you’d better be, too.”

The pin has always been a main staple in Thorson’s arsenal. Thorson has 82 pins in his career, which is a Fergus Falls school record.

He also has 147 wins, putting him two behind the Otters’ all-time leader in that department, Mitch Gabrielson.

Even with that impressive resume, it’s not enough to get the senior to toot his own horn.

“He’s had a great career,” Aho said. “He’s soft-spoken, but he’s taken on more of a leadership role with the younger kids this year.

“He usually lets his actions speak for themselves, but it’s been nice to see him in that role.”

The 215-pounder gets his work done with strength. A tough kid that is also a steer wrestler in rodeo, Thorson has a good chunk of natural strength.

“When you’re used to doing that kind of stuff with rodeo, wrestling a 215-pound kid probably doesn’t seem like that much,” Aho said with a laugh.

But Thorson’s modesty and soft-spoken nature keeps the senior from tooting his own horn. Aho said that Thorson still works out a lot, even if you don’t hear him talking about it.

“He’s gifted and blessed with a lot of natural strength, but he keeps working,” Aho said. “But I’ve never heard him say ‘Well, I can do this.’ Or ‘Well, I can lift that,’” Aho said. “He just goes about his business.”

Thorson’s business this season has been to focus on improving on a fantastic state tournament last year in which he finished third at 215 pounds.

With the expectations high, Thorson has not disappointed, living up to the billing as the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class by dominating everyone that comes in his path.

“You want to get better every year, but when you finish third at state, there’s not much room to get much better,” Aho said. “He has that competitive edge and that fire, and (a state title) is something he’ll have a good shot at getting.”

For the first time, the senior doesn’t have to deal with knocking heads with former Otters standout heavyweight Josh Campion everyday in practice.

Campion was second at 285 pounds last season, and is now playing football at the University of Minnesota.

“When you have two guys that have that much ability, it’s going to make each of them that much better,” Aho said. “You couldn’t ask for anybody better than those two.”

Even though Thorson might not have the bumps and bruises from wrestling Campion every day (and Thorson almost certainly gave as good as he got in those situations), the goal remains the same.

And Thorson hasn’t shown any signs of letting up against anybody so far this season.

“He’s not worrying about wins or pins or anything like that,” Aho said. “He’s just out there trying to win however he can.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548