The West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville wrestling team finished last season with a 19-6 record and sent five wrestlers to the Class A state individual tournament. This year, the team returns a strong nucleus of wrestlers as they pursue Park Region Conference and Section 6A titles.
“We are excited that we get to return all but three of our starters from last season,” Knights head coach Brandon Gruchow said. “We are expecting all of them to be our key up-and-comers. Currently, we have four ranked wrestlers Jordan Lohse, Nathaniel Kisgen, Hunter Gruchow and Anthony Sykora.”
All four of the wrestlers made the individual state tournament last season.
The Knights will be looking for a few replacements on the varsity roster after 2020’s graduating class. Gruchow hopes that a selection of younger wrestlers can fill spots left by graduates Kaleb Getz, Bret Duncan and Devin Stone.
Gruchow, like many coaches this season, is focusing on getting as many duals and meets as possible. For his team, effort will be key this year. “Our goal is to make sure we make the best out of the season by controlling our controllables, giving it our best and getting better every day. Our next goal is to make the best season we can with this great group of athletes and enjoy the great sport of wrestling and all its challenges and rewards.”
Gruchow sees Long Prairie-Grey Eagle-Browerville and Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie (BHVPP) as the teams to beat in the conference, while BHVPP will also be the favorite in the section.
Gruchow will be assisted by Troy Lohse, Aaron Ray, Dan Wales and John Weeding this season.