The Osakis wrestling team won't have enough athletes to fill every weight class from night-to-night. However, that doesn't mean the season is doomed from the start.
Head coach Joey Andreasen knows his team isn't going to compete for a state title, but they are going to grow as a team and make this year about development for the future.
"We made a team goal to enjoy the season and have fun," Andreasen said. "We are obviously very young. We don't have big numbers, and we were going to struggle to fill a dual team. We plan to refocus on getting better every day in the practice room and have fun."
Two seniors lead the Silverstreaks. Nate Kulzer and Nathan Bjerk have individual aspirations for their last ride as an Osakis wrestler.
"Kulzer has placed in sections the last three or four years now," Andreasen said. "He's always been knocking on the door to go to the state tournament. He's lost a couple of overtime matches that would've sent him there. He obviously has that vision in his head and that goal he will work towards."
Kulzer finished in fourth at the 126-pound weight class. Bjerk missed placement at the section meet but is poised to come back for a strong senior season.
"He's worked really hard in the offseason and has gotten a lot stronger," Andreasen said. "I think a good goal for him would be to place in the section tournament."
Brock Faber wasn't on the mat much after he suffered an injury last year. Andreasen is excited to see what he can do in his junior season.
"Some people might have forgotten about him, but he'll be back and ready to go," Andreasen said. "I think that he has a chance to place in the section tournament this year and grow into a leader of this team."
Along with Kulzer, junior Logan Grove had a great day at the section meet. He finished in sixth place in the 106-pound weight division as a sophomore.
"He's only a third-year wrestler, but he won over 20 matches last year," Andreasen said. "He's really focused, loves wrestling and wants to do well."
Not having any expectations of a team run is somewhat freeing for Andreasen. With a very young program, he's able to focus on the growth of his athletes.
"It's exciting to see their attitude and work ethic toward this season," he said. "There's pressure when you have a team that's capable of going to the state tournament. We don't have that pressure on us right now. Our focus is to enjoy this sport and every day in the wrestling room.”
2019 OSAKIS WRESTLING ROSTER
SENIORS- Nate Kulzer, Nathan Bjerk; JUNIORS- Brock Faber, Lucas Douvier, Hunter Harlow, Logan Grove; SOPHOMORES- Carsten Jacobson, Ryan Manders, Hunter Sell; FRESHMEN- Tyson Hagedon, Kale Drevlow, Alejandro Garcia-Ramirez; EIGHTH GRADERS- Gave Cimbura, Jacob Tappin; SEVENTH GRADERS- Reggie George, Gran Winkle, Clayton Neihaus, Lucas Duchene, Caleb Helberg; COACHES- Head coach- Joey Andreason; Assistant coaches- Darren Stoetzl, Justin George, Zach Smith;
2019 OSAKIS WRESTLING SCHEDULE
Nov. 27 at Melrose Tournament, 12:30 p.m.
Dec. 3 at Bertha-Hewitt Tri, 5 p.m.
Dec. 6 at Ortonville Tri, 5 p.m.
Dec. 10 at Staples-Motley Tri, 5 p.m.
Dec. 12 vs. New York Mills, 6 p.m.
Dec. 14 at Barnesville Tournament, 10 a.m.
Dec. 19 vs. Benson, 6 p.m.
Jan. 4 at Ogilvie Tournament, 10 a.m.
Jan. 7 at BOLD Quad, 5 p.m.
Jan. 10 Osakis Tournament, 4 p.m.
Jan. 17 at Lake Park-Audubon Tournament, 1 p.m.
Jan. 21 Osakis Quad, 5 p.m.
Jan. 28 at LPGE Quad, 5 p.m.
Jan. 30 at United North Central, 6 p.m.
Feb. 1 at Park Region Conference Meet, TBD
Feb. 6 vs. Wheaton-H-N, 5 p.m.
Feb. 11 at Section 5A Team Tournament, 6 p.m.
Feb. 22 at Section 5A Individual Tournament, 9 a.m.