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Eric Peterson, Published November 21 2012

Concordia's Bouressa running on all cylinders

Moorhead - Tom Bouressa has been fixing engines since he was 15 years old, a hobby that the Concordia senior says has parallels to his wrestling career.

Both are a constant work in progress.

“Your car’s never done because something is going to break on it or something is going to wear out,” Bouressa said. “When your car is completely fixed maybe you are going to see something shiny that you wish you could put on your car. … In wrestling, that may kind of be the same thing.”

Early in this college wrestling season, Bouressa has been running smooth.

The 6-foot-3, 285-pound heavyweight has won all three of his matches. He took first place at 285 pounds at last weekend’s Finn Grinaker Cobber Open.

Bouressa defeated two NCAA Division I wrestlers – one from North Dakota State, one from Northern Iowa – en route to winning his division.

“We’ve always known that Tom has had the potential to do this,” said Cobbers associate head coach Matt Nagel. “He’s had a good beginning to this year. He’s doing all the right things.”

Bouressa is in the Marine Corps Reserve and has the Marine Corps emblem tattooed on his left shoulder. He also owns a Yamaha V Star 1000 motorcycle, which he’s owned for a couple years.

He learned to work on motorcycle engines during that time.

Bouressa started working on car engines when he was a teenager for practical reasons. It was a good way to save money, instead of paying someone else to do the repairs.

“It’s a nice skill to have,” said Bouressa, who is from Alexandria, Minn. “Every now and then, you have someone else that you know who has a problem.”

Bouressa once replaced the head gaskets on a 1996 Mustang. Even though the repair took “forever,” it was worth the end result.

“That’s like tearing it all the way down to the block and rebuilding it pretty much,” Bouressa said of the repair. “When I was done, I had a nice running Mustang and I was pretty happy about that.”

Bouressa has another tattoo between his shoulder blades that he’s had for about a year. It has two crossed rifles with “Brothers in Arms” printed below. His brother, Andy, virtually has the same tattoo. Andy, who goes to Minnesota State Moorhead, is in the Army Reserve.

“It’s literal for me and my brother,” Bouressa said of the saying in the tattoo.

Bouressa said wrestling is the only sport that makes sense to him. He’s been involved in the sport since grade school. He likes the discipline aspect of both being in the military reserve and on a wrestling team.

“I’ve always enjoyed it because it has changed who I am,” Bouressa said of wrestling.

“I think wrestling is one of those things that keeps me on track and keeps me accountable to myself.”

While Bouressa is off to a strong start this season, he’s still in competition with Cody Kasprick for the No. 1 spot at 285 for the Cobber. Bouressa defeated Kasprick 2-1 in overtime at the Cobber Open. Nagel said it’s a luxury to have two quality heavyweights, especially at the Division III level.

“Wrestling with Cody is a good thing for me because he’s tough and he is a tough guy,” Bouressa said.

Nagel is confident both Bouressa and Kasprick have the potential to be All-Americans.

“I have a firm belief that one of the two is going to be All-American for us this year,” Nagel said. “The old saying goes that steel sharpens steel. They’re going to make each other better every day.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com