GF Wrestling Outlook: Wrestling Girls Build Foundation In Central, Red River In NDHSAA Sanctioned First Season
Brady Terrill of Grand Forks Central and Matt Berglund of Grand Forks Red River will coach the first programs with the goal of continuing to develop the sport which has already seen some popularity and participation in the Grand Forks area, but not enough to constitute a double team.
Terrill wasn’t sure he would take the job at first, but after some deliberation he wanted to make sure that the girls involved in the program got a fair chance.
“I have been coaching at Central for the past four years so I was happy to take on this job and add some legitimacy to it. I didn’t want to see it spoil or be forgotten for the girls, ”he said.
Berglund, who previously led the boys’ team at Central, had the same feeling of adding legitimacy to women’s wrestling and added his own thoughts on the need to sanction women’s wrestling.
“I always looked at it from the point of view of if I had a girl and she wanted to wrestle and I had to say no to her you can’t because you’re a girl. I never thought it was a fair system, ”said Berglund.
But like building everything from scratch, the growing girls struggling in Grand Forks and North Dakota will be a process. This first year serves as a foundation and a learning experience for knowing what needs to be adjusted or how to increase participation in the future.
Together, the two programs have 11 registered wrestlers. The Knights have seven while the Roughriders carry just four each in different weight classes.
“It’s a tough sale. It’s a physically demanding sport and you have to work really hard to be good at it, ”said Berglund.
This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to team events, but they can still gain experience in the tournament schedule that both teams have set up.
“We have one of the biggest teams and we only have seven, which is not enough to make a double team. We are counting on a busy tournament season and the more we get to schools, we will be able to reach a lot more girls. We will have different competitions and not just the same girls that we fight every week, ”said Terrill.
After the Christmas holidays, both teams will head to the Rotary Bismarck tournament where there will be a diverse competition. Central will also travel to Bemidji for a tournament against a strong team from Minnesota.
Outside of tournaments, there is a long regular season schedule that will provide repetition for those willing to stick with it. Some can be tested, but Berglund is excited by what he saw in the opening weeks of the season with his squad.
“The four daughters I have now just have good attitudes. None of them even thought about quitting, they come every day and try to get better,” he said.
Another bright spot for Berglund is the potential to add more girls looking to get into the sport despite not having a background or very familiar with it. This gives those who enter the sport later than others another opportunity.
“We want to provide more opportunities in this area for girls and adding another sport does that. Many of these other sports, basketball, hockey or gymnastics, are sports that you have to start at a young age. Wrestling, you can take it back later in life and still be a strong wrestler, ”he said.
And that’s just the beginning. Over time, these programs hope to reach that point of potential competition throughout the doubles season, and it is the potential of the sport that excites those involved in it.
“We hope to build a foundation here. It’s one of the most steadily growing school sports and I can see it getting a lot bigger, ”said Terrill.
Grand Forks Central Boys
In the first coaching poll of the season, the Knights had four wrestlers in the top eight of their respective classes. Senior Justin Kerr was third in the 220-pound class, Hayden Mack (138) and Jayden Haake (182) both placed fifth and Daniel Suda was the 285-placed eighth-ranked wrestler.
Kerr is the only statesman to return to the central squad and brings a lot of strength to the EDC Class 220.
“His fight just keeps getting better every week. We made a big jump from his sophomore to freshman, ”Central coach Jeff Welsh said.
Suda started the season 5-0 ahead of what is expected to be a very competitive Sertoma tournament this weekend at Central. He has already won a victory in Wahpeton during the Dan Unruh Memorial tournament.
GF Central at a glance
The Head Coach: Jeff Welsh
Last season: 8-10 (4-5 EDC)
Best feedback: Sr. Justin Kerr, sr. Hayden Mack, sr. Adam Olson, sr. Cyncere Haskins, jr. Daniel Suda, jr. Jayden haake
The Welsh coach says: “We have a lot of guys coming back with experience, just a returning state usher in Justin Kerr, but a lot of guys who were one game away from the standings. We’re looking to take the next step in the playoffs and get the guys into the state tournament. “
Grand Forks Red River
The Roughriders have seen their numbers increase over the years, but there are still challenges ahead. Their 15 boys this year are the closest to a full roster.
“We have to fight really well in every game to be in the duels because we allow 24 points,” said Red River coach James Covington.
One of the biggest additions for the Roughriders this year has come from Eden Prairie. Tanner Swanson, in class 132, has already stood out ahead of Covington as well as Max McCarthy in class 138.
“(McCarthy’s) potential is up there, he just needs to focus a little more. He wrestles as well as Tanner right now and has won those close games, ”said Covington.
In the coaching poll, Miles Larson was the only Roughrider to be ranked. The first year was ranked sixth at 113.
The Red River at a glance
The Head Coach: James covington
Last season: 1-14 (0-9 EDC)
Best feedback: Jr. Max McCarthy, sr. Troy stenhjem
Coach Covington says: “We are improving by 1% every day and we are going to see that constant improvement throughout the season.”