The Drill: Trojan wrestler Schutz breathing better, and winning

Worthington High School wrestler Mason Schutz has learned that by correcting his breathing issues, he's a much better competitor

Worthington Trojans wrestler Mason Schutz wrenches on a teammate's neck during practice.
Worthington Trojans wrestler Mason Schutz wrenches on a teammate's neck during practice.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- In his spare time, Worthington High School senior Mason Schutz likes to hunt in the warmer months and go ice fishing in the winter. He also likes to go “drifting,” which means that he enjoys driving to parking lots when they’re icy just to drift on the ice.

There was a time when Schutz’s high school wrestling career seemed to be drifting. Two years ago, Schutz was perceived as one of the more promising Trojans heading into his 10th-grade season. But as a sophomore, and again as a junior, he would sometimes lose matches that he seemed capable of winning.

When watching Schutz compete, WHS head coach Kirk Feit and his assistants noticed that something appeared to be wrong. They just couldn’t put their finger on it. So Feit made it a point to watch Schutz ever more closely.

Finally, the coach concluded that Mason literally wasn’t breathing during his matches. Though he was obviously physically strong, he tired after the first period. Simply, it seemed, he forgot to breathe when he became nervous or anxious.

Schutz is thinking much harder about breathing this season, and it’s paying off. He’s having a solid year.


Even so, the breathing thing is a little bit strange.

“I’ve been wrestling since I can remember, for 12 years I think,” Schutz explained recently. “For the last couple of years I’ve had trouble breathing and I just tense up, and I forget to breathe. And I was not aware that I was not breathing in matches until my coaches told me. Kirk told me that I was not breathing. I’m not sure why I wasn’t breathing. I think it was nerves.

“I went into the next match thinking only about that, and I figured out I wasn’t breathing. I’d look at my coaches and they were telling me to slow down and breathe. I did that and I’m like, ‘Holy crap, I’m breathing now!’ This last year I’ve had a lot more fun with it and just chilled out a lot more.”

The wrestling team had an excellent season with a record of 23-2, and will be competing in the state meet in Rochester which starts on March 30.
The 2022-23 Red Rock Conference boys basketball season came to a close last Saturday as Southwest Minnesota Christian lost 98-57 to Russell-Tyler-Ruthton in the Section 3A semifinals
ST. PAUL – Three Jackson County Central wrestlers won individual championships on Saturday at the Class A State meet.

Schutz, who also competes in baseball, is clearly one of the leaders on the WHS wrestling team as a senior, competing mostly at 195 pounds. He’s a pinner. And when he’s not pinning his foes, he’s showing himself to be perfectly capable of winning over the full six minutes.

Mason Schutz is this week’s Drill subject. You can see the video online at . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: What, in addition to you breathing better, has helped you become a better wrestler this year?

ANSWER: “I’ve become a better wrestler this year because I’ve found more moves that I’m more comfortable at doing. The moves that I like to do are the headlock and the inside trap.”

QUESTION: What’s the toughest thing to learn about wrestling?


ANSWER: “The hardest things to learn about becoming a good wrestler is the discipline and how tough it is to get through those practices. I had trouble making weight one year, and I think it was my sophomore year. It’s never fun.”

QUESTION: Do you have a sports memory that will stay with you? Something dramatic or something fun, something you’ll probably never forget?

ANSWER: “My favorite sports memory was my brother, Damon, his senior year against Marshall. And he was wrestling Tate Condezo, and he picked him up and did a WWE move. It wasn’t really a move. He just picked him up and dropped him on his back. Damon got penalized for it, but it was worth the show.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at
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