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The Drill: Even-tempered WHS wrestler Donkersloot gets his edge on

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Worthington High School senior Brayden Donkersloot practices on the mat with a Trojan teammate. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- Even by his own description, Brayden Donkersloot is kind of a laid-back guy. He takes things in stride. He doesn’t get angered easily.

But even a guy like Brayden can become frustrated when events don’t go according to the plan. That happened late in the 2017-18 high school wrestling season when the Worthington Trojan sustained a concussion in the section tournament, messing up his bid for a state tournament berth.

It made him hungrier. And now that he’s a senior, he knows that it’s now or never.

“Not making it last year just fuels to the fire of wanting to get it this year -- to get to that state tournament,” he said recently.

Donkersloot participates in baseball and wrestling at Worthington High School, so these are the days he’s laying the groundwork for postseason mat success. As one of the leaders on a squad that prides itself on a team-oriented, blue-collar working mentality, it’s up to Donkersloot to keep his own goals on track while helping his teammates get better, too.

The lanky senior has been a wrestler for many years. At the very beginning, he recalls, he enjoyed practices but wasn’t quite as excited about going to meets. Now, as his experience and his strength has improved, he has learned how to use it.

The Globe took some time out to talk to Brayden Donkersloot recently about the lessons he’s learned during his wrestling career, and his goals for the future. You can see The Drill video it turned into online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sampling of the interview:

QUESTION: What, in your estimation, is the most valuable advice you’ve been given in your wrestling career so far?

ANSWER: “The most valuable thing that I’ve heard from my coaches and parents is just keep your head up, keep going. It’s the only way to improve, just keep goin’ and never stop, never quit.”

QUESTION: What kind of wrestling team are the Worthington Trojans this year? What are some of the strengths of the team?

ANSWER: “We don’t have our ‘hammer,’ as coach (Ben DeRynck) would say. To fill in those places, we have decent wrestlers, the .500 wrestlers that win half, lose half. Them guys are the ones that need to step up and be the hammer.”

QUESTION: Have you got a special story to tell about something that happened to you in your high school sports career? Some unique experience? Something that always stays with you?

ANSWER: “Something that is always special to me in high school sports is the goosebumps that you get. When I was younger and saw the seniors on the team -- the hyping us up for the match, hyping us up for the game -- just getting those goosebumps. The excitement of wanting to be that good someday.”

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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