HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
February 5, 2007

My glory days of wrestling

By Aaron Schultz

With all the talk going on about the stoppage of high school wrestling in Minnesota due to an outbreak of herpes gladiatorum, I headed to Lester Prairie High School and talked with John Halverson.

Halve, as we all called him in high school, and still do, at least in my case, is a high school math teacher, and was also my wrestling coach, for as long as I could remember.

While my talk with him centered around the current issues with herpes, and everything that goes along with it, I couldn’t help but start reminiscing about the good old days on the mat.

Starting in first grade, right on through my senior year, I was a Bulldog wrestler.

From the beginning of my wrestling career right on to my final match, which I believe was in Annandale (but my memory is a little shady). Halve was there.

He saw all my ups and downs on the wrestling mat, and I have tons of fond memories of all my experiences.

Some of my early memories of wrestling started with heading up to Staples to compete in the youth wrestling tournament.

I have no idea how old I was, and while I can’t recall how I did in the tourney, I do remember having a blast in the hotel with my friends.

Moving on to varsity wrestling, I wrestled a little varsity as a eighth grader, and really didn’t excel at all.

Yeah, I sucked. I should have been wrestling at 119 pounds, but got beat out by a senior from Holy Trinity, so I had to move up to 125 pounds.

For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the wrestler, but I do remember wrestling him in practice a lot, and him helping me become a better wrestler.

I just know I’ll think of his name this week.

This brings us to my freshman season, and what was my second most successful year on the mat.

I had a very good year, as our team did.

Paired with Holy Trinity, we made it all the way to the section final four, where we finally lost out.

Personally, I had a very good record, and had a decent shot at making a state tournament run myself, but then a minor knee injury popped up the week before individual sections.

While it wouldn’t have been bad enough to keep me from wrestling, it didn’t allow me to run, which meant I couldn’t cut the weight I needed to get down to 125 – season over!

That really got under my craw, and still bugs me to this day.

My sophomore season was a wasted year as I was very uncommitted, and just didn’t have much fun wrestling, so we’ll just skip ahead to my junior year.

This was, by far, my best year of wrestling, as I wrestled at 171 pounds, and was doing very well.

My record was something like 15-2 with a couple of big wins over some good wrestlers, and a tournament championship or two under my belt.

Then, at the Paynesville tournament, I got put on my back pretty hard, and something just didn’t feel right.

I continued to wrestle, finishing third in the tourney, but then it was off to the doctor Monday morning.

There is where I found out that I had broken my shoulder blade, and my season might just be over.

Well, luckily, I healed fast enough to compete in sections (both team and individual).

I was able to wrestle in the team competition, but had to withdraw from individuals when I could tell that my shoulder just wasn’t working right.

My senior year was a blast, but I took a step back as far as being good, and my career ended in sections.

Yep, my glory days of wrestling were a lot of fun, just not that much glory.