Tribune Staff Report
WILLMAR -- Several of Minnesota's top high school wrestlers will take to the mat next winter at Ridgewater College.
Warriors coach Tom Beyer's current recruiting class is led by Class A state heavyweight champion Dominic Platow of Paynesville.
The Warriors' incoming class also includes Hayden Rouser, a state runner-up from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, and T.J. Bueltel, another second-place finisher at state from Minneota.
Evan Knudson of Yellow Medicine East and Jessie Engler, of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg will also join the Warriors next season, as will Alex Thurber of Kimball, who placed fifth at last winter's state tournament, and his teammate Caramon Hansen. Bueltel's teammate Alex Lessman will also be at Ridgewater next winter.
Beyer said he's pleased with next season's class -- which eventually could include more local wrestlers -- since it's historically been difficult to get area wrestlers to commit to Ridgewater.
"This year, 70 percent of the local wrestlers who toured our campus have made Ridgewater their choice," Beyer said.
"I hope in the future we will continue to get our area wrestlers to at least take a look at what Ridgewater College and wrestling can offer them."
Platow won the Class A championship at 285 pounds and finished with a 40-5 record. Rouser was second in Class A at 126 pounds with a 43-3 mark and Bueltel (40-5) was second at 138 pounds.
Thurber was fifth in Class A at 220 pounds and was 43-4. Engler, Lessman and Hansen all earned spots in the Class A state tournament. Engler (145 pounds) was 37-5, Lessman (152 pounds) was 32-8, and Hansen (145 pounds) was 22-8. Knudson placed third in Section 3A at 113 pounds.