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Sheyenne wrestling team prepares for first-ever State Championship appearance

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 10:47 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Wrestling teams across the State will be converging on the Fargodome for the State Championship tournament, including one team who reached that milestone for the first time.

While some members of the Sheyenne Mustangs have been to state individually before, their fourth place finish in the Eastern Dakota Conference this year means that the whole team will get to compete in the dome.

“They’ve been through some tough seasons where you’re getting beat by 60 every other week. Now we’re beating these teams by 60. Really proud of them.” said Head Coach Lex Lunde. “They really bought in they’re really doing what we’re asking and they deserve all of it.”

When asked about the excitement of going to state, Junior Wrestler Kellen Hoornaert told us that “It’s good knowing that every single kid on our team will get to go experience the state tournament, even though maybe in previous years they wouldn’t have made it. But everyone get’s to experience it this year which i think is really great.”

The historic accomplishment isn’t lost on these wrestlers as they prepare to make the short trip to state as a team.

“It’s a cool accomplishment to be a part of a team that’s making history.” said Freshman Grappler Carter Zink, “It’s cool for the seniors here in their last year too.”

According to the wrestlers we talked to, the aspect that sets them apart is their conditioning and the hard work they put in in practice.

“Our conditioning is better than anyone else in the east.” said Zink “And that’s what got us to state. In our duel against West Fargo we were outworking everyone.”

“It’s made us who we are as a team.” said Hoornaert, “These coaches push us to our absolute limit but in a good way. They know exactly what we have to do to win our matches and to go farther.”

Lunde, who started this program along with his brothers, fellow coaches Logan and Lane, hopes for this to be the start of the new normal for Sheyenne, as they prepare for their tournament-opening matchup against a wrestling dynasty in Bismarck.

“Some of these kids are seniors in three years. We want to beat Bismarck. Some are seniors in two years and we want to beat Bismarck.” said Lunde “This will give our kids that taste of what a true championship team is, and what else we have to do to get there.”

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