WORTHINGTON -- Because of the way the 2021 Minnesota high school wrestling season has been set up, nobody knows for sure if there will be a state tournament. The Worthington Trojans had individuals capable of competing at the state level last year, however, and head coach Kirk Feit believes he’s got capable matmen again this year.
“I honestly feel a lot of these guys have a chance,” he said at a recent practice while surveying the wrestling room. “We were a match away last year with a couple of these guys.”
There are seven seniors on the team: Oliver Ortiz (120-126 pounds), Zaydan Abdulrahman (132), Damon Schutz (145), Jaden Hennings (160), Juan Guizar (170), Kent Lais (182) and Tommy Lais (195).
Schutz saw varsity action as an eighth grader and retains outstanding mat awareness. Hennings is a solid, hard-nosed fighter who’s difficult to score on. Guizar, a leader by example, finished third in the section a year ago.
The Trojans might have to go the whole year without one of their other leaders, Tommy Lais, who is recovering from a football injury. But other competitors are ready to pick up the slack. Junior Cole Hennings enjoyed a breakout season in 2019-20 and will begin at heavyweight. Sophomores Oscar Galvez (113-120) and Ethan Meyer (120) are also tough. Meyer was impressive as a freshman, and Feit calls Galvez his “number one grinder.”
“We’ve got some new young guys who are going to get a chance to get in the lineup. We’ll see how things shake out,” said Feit.
The Trojans’ first scheduled match, a Friday triangular with Adrian/Ellsworth in St. James, is suspect and could be changed. The next scheduled match is with Marshall and New Ulm in Worthington on Jan. 19.
Feit feels good about what he’s got in camp, and he should be. Last season, the Trojans were consistently competitive, and they improved noticeably as the season wore on. More of the same kind of hard work and determination is expected.
“Overall, we probably have a pretty solid team up and down the lineup,” said Feit. “We’re not a team with standouts, but up and down the lineup we’re going to be a tough out for anybody.”