Area notebook: Cards' Swanson honored by CLC

Wrestler Mason Swanson is named a Central Lakes Conference perfomer of the week.

Willmar3 Mason Swanson celebration.jpg
Willmar senior Mason Swanson celebrates after defeating Bemidji’s Dylan Headbird in the 285-pound match in the Section 8AAA team tournament championship on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at Bemidji High School.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

It certainly was a key moment of the season — perhaps THE moment — for the Willmar wrestling team.
Mason Swanson won his match at 285 pounds to help the Cardinals defeat top-seeded Bemidji in the Section 8AAA final at Bemidji. The 29-25 victory helped earn Willmar a trip to the state tournament.
For his efforts, Swanson has been named a Central Lakes Conference performer of the week.
Swanson is ranked 10th in Class AAA at 220 pounds and is going for a state individual berth this weekend.

Latest West Central Tribune's tournament coverage:

The unseeded Cardinals (25-7) wrestle second-seeded Stillwater (27-2) in the Class AAA quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Swanson is one of eight athletes honored this week by the CLC. The others are:
* From Sauk Rapids, boys hockey player Easton Portner;
* From Brainerd, boys hockey goalie Jed Klang;
* From Alexandria, girls hockey player MaKenna Aure;
* From Rocori, River Lakes girls hockey goalie Kaydence Roeske and Spartans wrestler Mason Orth;
* From St. Cloud Tech, boys basketball player Donald Ferguson;
* And from Fergus Falls, girls basketball player Ellie Colback.

Latest West Central Tribune's Willmar Cardinals coverage

Willmar1 Mason Swanson match.jpg
Willmar senior Mason Swanson controls the 285-pound match against Bemidji’s Dylan Headbird in the Section 8AAA team tournament championship on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at Bemidji High School.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

Hawk, Laker honored

Montevideo Thunder Hawk boys basketball player Landon Stock and Minnewaska Laker dance team member Brenna Larson have been named West Central Conference performers of the week.
Also honored by the conference were: Sauk Centre girls basketball player Lisa Weir, Sauk Centre/Melrose wrestler Lana Walther and Melrose gymnast Alea Berscheit.


State semifinals

The Minnetonka girls hockey team is back in the state Class AA semifinals after a 9-0 quarterfinals victory over Bemidji at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Skippers, of course, are coached by Willmar High School graduate Tracy (Engstrom) Cassano. Cassano is a former University of Minnesota two-time team captain who is trying to lead Minnetonka to its fourth state championship.


* Former New London-Spicer star Erin Knisley averaged 12.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for the St. Cloud Technical & Community College women's basketball team. Knisley played in 20 of 22 games for the Cyclones, who went 11-11.
* Former Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa star Jackie Lindsay averaged 7.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 2.2 assists per game for the Cyclones, starting all 22 games for St. Cloud as a teammate of Knisley's.
* Former Willmar player Ashley Prahl wound up leading the Ridgewater women's basketball team with 16.8 ppg. She also averaged a team-best 7.8 rpg for the Warriors, who were 3-17.
* Abby Berskow, another former Willmar player, also good numbers for Ridgewater's women's basketball team. Berskow averaged 10.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.0 assists per game and 1.9 steals per game for the Warriors.
* Former Paynesville player Harley Kunstleben averaged 9.2 ppg and 5.4 rpg for the Warriors as a teammate to Prahl and Berskow. All three were in their first year with the program.

Tom Elliott has been the sports editor at the West Central Tribune since September 2019.
Contact him at or leave a message at 320-235-1150.
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