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Published February 26 2012

Long wait for Barnesville wrestling comes to an end

Barnesville, Minn.

Plenty can happen in 47 years.

Like watching other wrestling programs reach the Minnesota state wrestling tournament.

This year, however, it’s Barnesville’s turn. The Trojans will be competing as a team at state for the first time since the program was founded in 1965.

“For us, we are still on Cloud 9 right now,” said Trojans coach Art Meyer. “It is the thing I’ve worked for since 1998 when I was hired here.”

Barnesville (22-4) is headed to state after beating Border West in the Class 1A, Section 6 tournament.

Senior Seth Hirsch said going to state included more than getting past Border West.

Hirsch said the coaches took the team to a wrestling camp in Kimball, Minn., over the summer.

Hirsch said the camp was ran by coaches from national power the University of Iowa.

“That Kimball camp was crazy and it was the hardest camp I’ve ever been to,” said Hirsch, who wrestles in the 138-pound weight class. “You wake up at 7 a.m. with a morning jog. Then we had technique sessions. After that they had us do conditioning sessions. We were running up hills, down hills, bear claw up hills. It was basically every physical exercise you know.”

Hirsch continued by saying it was “scary” for a wrestler to see how demanding the camp was.

Teammate Isaac Goedtke said going through obstacles like demanding camps is what made the team closer.

“Wrestling is a sport where you break yourself down,” said Goedtke, who wrestles in the 160-pound weight class. “You are at your lowest point. But your teammates and coaches are there to bring you back.”

Achieving more unity through a grueling camp gave Meyer an idea.

He made a sign that reads “Section Champs” and put it in the wrestling room.

Meyer said he created the sign so whenever the team walked in for practice, they knew what they were working toward.

“They’ll tell you we have them do rigorous workouts,” said Meyer, who was a high school wrestler at Perham. “But they know why we’ve pushed them as hard as we have.”

Goedtke, a junior, said he and his teammates didn’t have a problem with working hard to reach state.

Most of it had to do with making it to state.

The rest of it had to do with what happened in previous years.

“We were bad,” Goedtke said with Meyer nearby. “Like we were the worst team in the section bad.”

Now they’re the best Section 6 has to offer.

Reaching state means Barnesville opens with No. 2 Kimball Area (32-0), one of the favorites to win state.

“You know it’s weird to know we’re going to face them because they hosted the camp we were at,” Goedtke said. “Coach said their guys are going to talk to us before and after the match because we all went through that together. It’ll be good to see them and catch up.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com

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