The Becker wrestling team set a school record as five of the seven Bulldogs who made it to the state Class AA individual tournament earned a place on the podium.
There were 14 weight classes in high school wrestling this year and Becker had state representatives in seven of them - Bennett Kujawa (106 ), Kaden Nicolas (126), Landen Kujawa (132), Ethan Duncombe (152), Adam Jurek (160), Tyson Ricker (195) and Dylan Kolby (285).
The highest finisher for the Bulldogs was Kaden Nicolas, who claimed second place at 126 pounds, losing only to the returning state champion from Mound-Westonka. It was the second consecutive state title match for Nicolas, who last year finished second at 113 pounds for the Bulldogs. During his run to the title match, Nicolas corralled his 125th varsity win, a hugely impressive statistic considering he is just a sophomore.
The Becker Bulldog wrestling team put forward a great performance last Thursday, capturing their second consecutive third place finish at the MSHSL Class AA wrestling state tournament.
It was the third state appearance in team history and this time, Becker was up to the challenge in winning two of its three matches.
“This team has put together a historic season for Becker Wrestling... placing third at the State tournament and having a school record five individuals place (in their weight classes in the individual tournament),” Coach Travis Holt said. “This was a group of veteran wrestlers that continued to grow as the season progressed. Our future is bright, and we are proud of our Bulldogs.”
Holt also noted that the team had five wrestlers on the team with over 100 varsity wins.
Becker, seeded #4 in the tournament, opened the day with an 11 a.m. matchup against Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus (PLPRB) and came away with a 42-24 win.
In the semifinal match at 1 p.m., Becker lost to returning state champion Simley, 15-39, who cruised to the 2023 title later that evening.
Thursday afternoon, Becker came out on top of Kasson-Mantorville, 33-27, to capture the Class AA third place trophy.
Both Nicolas and Landen Kujawa were honored after the team championships by being named to the Class AA All Tournament team.
The sophomore teammates both went 3-0 in team matches en route to their being named to the elite group of Class AA wrestlers.
Becker Activities Director Dave Niemi was also proud to announce that Head Coach Travis Holt and Assistant Coach Jesse Puncochar were named the Section 6AA Coaches of the Year.
“Both Travis and Jesse have worked together to lead our wrestling team to their second straight Section 6AA Team Championship and are very worthy of being selected for these awards,” Niemi said.