The West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville Knights have completed their final official 2021 business as a team with its awards banquet.
Before we jump into the individual awards and accolades let us take time to thank the man who makes all of Knights mania possible. Head Coach Brandon Gruchow, we thank you for everything you do. The time the public sees you putting in is incredible but it pales in comparison to what they do not see. There is no doubt you have a great stable of talent to work with but the horses cannot run unless provided a track to compete on, you give us all that track! Knowing Gruchow a bit personally he is an intense but also a humble individual. Mr. Gruchow holds everyone around him to high standards but is sincerely happy and proud to put others out in front.
A story about a great leader always comes to mind when Mr. Gruchow's name comes up, ”He was an excellent horseman at West Point, setting a jump record that stood for 25 years. Whenever he was reminded of the feat, Grant would invariably smile and defer to his mount: ’York was a wonderful horse.’”-Jean Edward on Ulysses S. Grant
The Knights had a bitter sweet season. The team performed admirably through the year. They grew as a unit by the week and knocked off heavy hitters in the top 20 rankings left and right. Unfortunately, there was an old foe that happened to be in the same section that got in the way of the glory of a state tournament berth….thank you Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie. We all know how that ended at the Section 6A finals but….be warned MN wrestling….the Knights are preparing for next year and have a chip on their shoulders.
Do not let what was said above give a negative notion, when it was stated that the Knights wrestled great,...they did. They team competed with the bulk of the best talent in Class A wrestling and earned themselves a 25-5 team record. They maneuvered the rankings in the top 20 all the way to a final spot of #7 on the ‘Guillotine’. There is a litany of statistics that could be posted but we will list a few that describe how a 25-4 record is derived. The team won 64% of its matches by way of 320 wins to 174 losses. The Knights out-legged opponents in scoring last season with a margin of 1,695 to 802. They were able to score fast and early leading opponents with first points scored in 239 matches vs 173. The Knights were bonus point scoring machines, they scored bonus points in 174 matches and surrendered just 102 matches with bonus points against them. The ‘21 team led all opponents in most offensive categories by rather large margins, including take downs, falls, tech falls, near falls for two and near falls for three. The math is rather simple, when you score more and more often your side wins the most often.
There are two team awards that stand out above all others. The first is perhaps the most important in that a smart or studious athlete is a high caliber and dangerous at his or her craft athlete. Mr. Gruchow has his stable in great working order as the team collected another Gold Standard Academic Award with a collective GPA of 3.538.
T. Koloski, K. Olson, D. Goeden, J. Lohse, N. Kisgen, A. Mattson
B. Robinson 'MIP', J. Lohse 'Hardest Worker', K. Nibbe 'MV Manager', MV Wrestler N. Kisgen
W. Rustan 'MV Wrestler', J. Schaffron 'MIP', B. Brunkow 'Hardest Worker'
The Spotlight on Scholarship awards that represented a 3.0 GPA or better included: Carter Lohse, Adam Lohse, Ashton Danner, Reubens Swanson, Anthony Sykora, Jordan Lohse, Kade Olson, Nathaniel Kisgen, Beau Robinson, Colton Lindquist, Justin Blascyk, Brody Brunkow, Logon Long, Ezekiel Sieckert, Gavin Flint, Jeremy Blascyk, Hunter Gruchow, Will Rustan (4.0), Logan Haburn, Dierk Goeden, Blake Flint, Colin Anderson, Austin Mattson, Kjersten Nibbe (Manager), Lucea Wales (Manager), Annika Brunkow (Manager), Jaime Johnson (Manager) Terina Blascyk (Manager) and Deklin Goeden.
The second of the big team awards is for Perfect Attendance at practice. The dedication to maneuver through life and make it to commitments uninterrupted cannot be understated. The Knights list this year is quite large and includes: Jordan Lohse, Nathaniel Kisgen, Colton Lindquist, Justin Blascyk, Anthony Sykora, Solomon Wales, Will Rustan, Carter Lohse, Adam Lohse, Hunter Gruchow, Jeremy Blascyk, Ezekiel Sieckert, and Kade Olson.
Letter-winners for the ‘21 season and years lettered include: Dierk Goeden (2), Kjersten Nibbe (5), Jeremy Blascyk (2), Nathaniel Kisgen (4, 2 with WCAABE), Justin Blascyk (2), Jaime Johnson (3), Anthony Sykora (5), Ashton Danner (3), Ezekiel Sieckert (1), Kade Olson (4), Solomon Wales (3), Colton Lindquist (3), Reubens Swanson (5), Hunter Gruchow (2), Adam Lohse (3), Beau Robinson (1), Grant Lindquist (1), Terina Blascyk (1), Lucea Wales (2), Jordan Lohse (5), Mason Richter (1), Deklin Goeden (3), Austin Mattson (4), Carter Lohse (1).
Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Awards:
100 Win Patch: Nathaniel Kisgen 128 career wins, Anthony Sykora 128
150 Win Patch: Jordan Lohse 178 career wins
50 Pins: Jordan Lohse 81 career pins, Nathaniel Kisgen 79, Anthony Sykora 67
25 Pins: Colton Lindquist 45 career pins, Adam Lohse 38, Kade Olson 33, Ashton Danner 29, Austin Mattson 25, Solomon Wales 25
Park Region All Conference and Wrestlers: Reubens Swanson, Jordan Lohse, Anthony Sykora, Nathaniel Kisgen, Colton Lindquist
State-Prelim Participants: Adam Lohse (120), Solomon Wales (126), Reubens Swanson (145), Jordan Lohse (152), Anthony Sykora (160), Nathaniel Kisgen (182), Colton Lindquist (220), Justin Blascyk (285)
All-State Participants and placing: Reubens Swanson (6th), Jordan Lohse (5th), Anthony Sykora (5th), Nathaniel Kisgen (3rd), Colton Lindquist (6th)
Rookie Award E. Sieckert and Spirit Award J. Blascyk
R. Swanson, J. Lohse, A. Sykora, N. Kisgen, C. Lindquist
Most Valuable Wrestler: Nathaniel Kisgen
Hardest Worker: Jordan Lohse
Most Improved: Beau Robinson
Team Spirit Award: Jeremy Blascyk
Rookie Award: Ezekiel Sieckert
JV Most Valuable Wrestler: Will Rustan
JV Hardest Worker: Brody Brunkow
JV Most Improved: Jacob Schaffran
Most Valuable Manager: Kjersten Nibbe
Most Dedicated Fan: Joyce Hanson
Exiting Seniors: Austin Mattson, Nathaniel Kisgen, Jordan Lohse, Kade Olson, Trent Koloski, Deklin Goeden
Top 5 Statistical Leaders for ‘21 Season:
Wins: A. Sykora (35), J. Lohse (34), C. Lindquist (34), N. Kisgen (32), A. Lohse (23)
Win Percentage: A. Sykora (.92), J. Lohse (.89), N. Kisgen (.86), C. Lindquist (.82), R. Swanson (.76)
Falls: N. Kisgen (21). C. Lindquist (17), A. Sykora (15), A. Lohse (1), J. Lohse (14)
Tech Falls: A. Sykora (5), R. Swanson (2), N. Kisgen (1), A. Lohse (1), J. Lohse (1), S. Wales (1)
Major Decisions: A. Sykora (4), K. Olson (2), S. Wales (2), A. Lohse (1), A. Danner (1), N. Kisgen (1)
Take Downs: A. Sykora (63), J. Lohse (60), R. Swanson (48), N. Kisgen (44), C. Lindquist (36)
Escapes: C. Lindquist (29), B. Robinson (26), J. Lohse (20), R. Swanson (17), A. Danner (14)
Reversals: A. Sykora (11), K. Olson 10, S. Wales (8), C. Lohse (7), A. Mattson (4), N. Kisgen (4), R. Swanson (4), B. Robinson (4)
2pt Near Falls: A. Sykora (34), N. Kisgen (8), S. Wales (6), A. Lohse (5), A. Danner (5), R. Swanson (5)
3pt Near Falls: A. Sykora (19), N. Kisgen (15), S. Wales (12), J. Lohse (11), C. Lohse (6)