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Published February 29 2012

Frazee focuses on individuals

FRAZEE, Minn. – Frazee High School wrestlers Rij Koenen and Bruce Lemon are looking forward to this week’s Minnesota state tournament – and a little rest.

For the first time in six years, Frazee did not qualify for the team-dual portion of the state tournament. That means Koenen and Lemon will get more rest before Friday’s individual tournament begins.

“It’s pretty sweet and it’s better to not worry about the team part this year,” said Koenen, a senior, who is making his fourth trip to state. “A lot of years you go down for the team tournament and get all bombed out for the team and the next day you are sore.”

During last season’s team-dual meet that Frazee won, Lemon popped the bursa sac in his right arm. It left him in a lot of pain for the individual part of the tournament.

“It is nice to not have that pressure,” he said. “There were times with the team meet you worry about making your weight for the individuals.”

Not having to worry about things is a respite from what Frazee had to deal with this season.

The team lost Myrel Schermerhorn, who died following complications from a car accident. Koenen said Schermerhorn’s death impacted everyone differently.

“We went into the year thinking it is going to be another usual year and then things happened,” Koenen said. “I know Bruce took what happened to Myrel to his head and he worked better from it. Other kids took it to heart and lost all motivation.”

Lemon and Schermerhorn were close friends, spending the summer training with hopes of placing at the state meet. They even trained against older wrestlers, hoping to get an edge over the rest of the competition.

“We wanted to win state so bad,” Lemon said.

There’s still a chance for Lemon – who is one of six wrestlers Frazee is sending to the individual meet.

The last time Frazee won an individual title came last season when Kody Sorenson won in the 189-pound class.

“I don’t want to jinx it,” he said. “But I want to go out there and wrestle my best too.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

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

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com