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The Drill: Pwae brothers return to wrestling at Minnesota West

Brothers Hser Moo Pwae (left) and Hser Eh Pwae are former Worthington High School standouts wrestling this year for Minnesota West Community and Technical College. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- After brothers Hser Eh and Hser Moo Pwae came to America with their mother and a younger brother many years ago, they had very little knowledge about most of their adopted country’s sports. They played soccer in their Thailand refugee camp, but it was confusing to learn about all the other activities available to them at Worthington.

In the seventh grade, they tried football, basketball and track.

But it wasn’t until they were introduced to wrestling in the eighth grade that they found what they were looking for.

Today, after completing outstanding wrestling careers at Worthington High School where they both qualified for the state individual tournament -- and after taking a year off after graduation -- the brothers are renewing their love of wrestling at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

Strength, quickness and dedication combined for success on the high school wrestling mat, and judging by the Pwaes’ muscular frames today, they certainly look the part of successful college matmen. Head coach Bryan Cowdin -- himself a former WHS standout -- says nobody will ever outwork the Pwaes.

Competing this year at 125 (Hser Eh) and 133 pounds (Hser Moo), the Pwaes are attending school in Jackson and working toward become proficient as electricians. Meanwhile, they’re hoping to provide a little electricity on the mat, too.

In high school, they were highly regarded for their physical skills. But they were also outstanding technicians on their feet. Even more impressive, they love to work out -- both on the mat and off, in the weight room. Their high school coach, Mark Prunty, once remarked about the brothers, “Once they get a leg, it’s very, very hard to get away from them. … They live to work out. They really like the physical challenge.”

The Globe found Hser Eh and Hser Moo at one of their favorite places, the wrestling mat, and took them aside for an interview. You can listen to the interview and see video footage of the wrestlers on The Globe website at www.dglobe.com.

Here’s a sampling of the interview:

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite memories of wrestling at Worthington High School?

ANSWER: (Hser Moo) “My favorite parts were going to tournaments every weekend.”

Q: How do you become an outstanding wrestler?

A: (Hser Eh) “It’s not whether you have the speed or the strength. Wrestling is more mental, if you can out-think a guy.”

Q: What are your goals for your career at Minnesota West? And what’s the hardest thing about transitioning from high school to college?

A: (Hser Eh) “My personal goal would be to be an All-American this year. The hardest thing from high school to college wrestling was, it was more grueling. You need more conditioning.”

Q: Who inspires you as a wrestler?

A: (Hser Moo) “There is a lot of wrestlers out there that inspire me. … The other one would be Anthony Luft (a former WHS state champion) from high school. We used to wrestle, and he took care of me.”

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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