Packer wrestlers are ready for Section 1AAA meet
Published 5:21 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The Packer wrestling team is about to face their biggest weekend of the season and they’re hoping to make some noise this year. Austin will compete in the Section 1AAA wrestling meet Friday and Saturday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester and the Packers are hoping to break a two-year state drought.
No wrestlers on this year’s Packers team have wrestled at the Class AAA state meet and the team is determined to get some wrestlers to state this season.
Austin heavyweight Eli Kaercher has been ranked in the top-10 for most of the season and he’s ready to take the next step and shoot for state this weekend.
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“I know our team has a good shot of sending quite a few people to the finals. Hopefully we can send a few to state,” said Kaercher, who is 26-9 on the season. “[The pressure is] nothing I haven’t faced all season. I’ve just got to go out there and wrestle my game. I feel pretty confident.”
Austin senior Brandon Cotter has 100 career wins and this is his fifth year on varsity. It’s hard for him to grasp that his final high school wrestling match is in the near future.
“After team sections, I kind of realized there’s only one week left in the season and my career. We’ll see how it goes,” Cotter, who is 24-7 this season, said. “I think we’re all excited to get out the mat and give it our all. We’ve just got to go out and wrestle like we do in the practice room for six minutes.”
The Packers will have plenty of competition in the Section 1AAA meet as Hastings, Farmington and Owatonna all bring quality wrestlers to the table.
With all the chips on the table, Austin senior Nathan Brinkman is hoping the Packers can grab the moment and seize the opportunity.
“It’s a big weekend and we’re going to buckle down and do the best we can,” Brinkman, who is 19-17 on the year, said. “We want to make sure we do our best.”
Senior Kole Igou, who is 25-9 overall, is surprised how fast the past four years have gone by in wrestling and the team certainly has a sense of urgency headed into this weekend. The ambience of the Civic Center will give the Packers all of the motiviation they need.
“There’s a lot of nerves,” Igou said. “It’s not like a really bad nervousness, we’re kind of excited. Wrestling in the Civic Center is a big atmosphere and that makes it a better experience and adds to the excitement.”