YOUTH WRESTLING: THOR Wrestling Club takes home awards at banquet

WOODBURY – The THOR Wrestling Club won a couple of awards at the Annual Minnesota/USA Wrestling Awards Banquet at Eastridge High School in Woodbury on Sunday.

The Club achieved high honors of state champions in Greco ahead of Forest Lake and STMA and the was the third place team in state for Freestyle behind Forest Lake and STMA. These placings are based on an entire years worth of participation in tournaments, qualifiers at state, state placers, and regional/national participation and placers.

THOR Wrestling Club also achieved the highest award for the 2017 MN/USA Wrestling season. “2017 Club of the Year” was awarded to the second-year Wrestling Club. After receiving nominations by MN/USA coaches, officials and board members, a vote resulted in THOR Wrestling Club receiving the award. It is based on participation at tournaments, placing at state, enthusiasm for the sport, good sportsmanship and Club representation. It was mentioned that our club had an impressive rate of growth in just two years of existence and the fact that we get so much participation at tournaments. It was also pointed out that we have very good “club unity” with wrestlers and coaches from many communities. We all wear the Thor gear and cheer for each other, even though we compete against each other during folkstyle.

One member of Thor Wrestling Club has achieved the high honor of a “Triple Crown” Winner. Lincoln Christenson of Marshall was state champion in all three styles of wrestling (Greco, Freestyle and Folkstyle).

“I believe this is the first member of any club I have coached to achieve this high honor,” coach J.D. Pesch said.

The “THOR Wrestling Club” is a regional Freestyle/Greco Club which draws wrestlers from southwestern Minnesota and trains in Minneota. The wrestling club is a chartered USA Wrestling Club. The club is managed & coached by J.D. Pesch, Wade Gillund, Travis Christenson, and Steve Banks. Coach Pesch, who moved to Minneota four years ago, has over 24 years of Freestyle/Greco Club experience, starting two other clubs over the years, “Ghostriders”/Scott West Wrestling and “Valley Elite” of LeSueur.

The club also has clinicians/coaches from SDSU, SMSU, including Riley Molitor, Brock Buysse and Antonio Mikel, as well as former U of M Gopher and USA World Team Member wrestler Dan Zilverberg.

In 2016, the club’s first year, they had 52 wrestlers, aged 5-18 from towns around the area. In 2017, they had over 70 wrestlers, from Minneota, Marshall, Canby, United (Dawson-Boyd, Madison), and Morris Area, with some kids driving over an hour two times a week for practice.

Thor Wrestling Club has been extremely successful and has exceeded all expectations for coaches and from parents the past two years. We practice two nights a week starting in mid-March and wrestle at 7-10 tournaments across the state.