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The Drill: Cole Hennings a key member of WHS wrestling family

Wrestling has been a part of Cole Hennings' life for most of his life. It’s a family sport, too. He and Tanner are twin brothers competing for the Trojans (Tanner wrestles mostly at 220 pounds). They have an older brother, Jaden, who is a WHS graduate, and Levi is a freshman.

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Cole Hennings Drill. Tim Middagh/The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- Cole Hennings is not unlike a lot of high school wrestlers for the fact that he’s unsure at this point whether he’ll continue his mat career after graduation. He’s thinking about competing in college, contemplating Concordia-Moorhead or staying close to home by enrolling at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

Mostly, he’s going to see how his senior year at Worthington High School proceeds before making a firm decision.

“I’ll have to decide after this year whether I’ve completed my goals and just want to stop, or if I still have something more to prove to myself,” he said recently.


Wrestling can be like that; it’s a tough sport that requires a great deal of dedication, and as the college life beckons, many an outstanding wrestler has asked himself whether the fire still burns brightly enough to continue. Hennings, who is currently ranked No. 8 in the Minnesota Class AA 285-pound weight class, hopes to place in the state prep tournament this season and -- if all goes well -- to get into the championship match.

Perhaps he’ll accomplish his goal. It wouldn’t be surprising. Hennings is a big, muscled grappler for the Trojans, and he’s a hard worker besides. But when high school is over and he still has more to prove, another opportunity awaits.

Wrestling has been a part of Cole’s life for most of his life. It’s a family sport, too. He and Tanner are twin brothers competing for the Trojans (Tanner wrestles mostly at 220 pounds). They have an older brother, Jaden, who is a WHS graduate, and Levi is a freshman.

“Myself and my brothers wrestled a lot when we were younger,” Cole recalls. “I remember every Sunday going to a tournament or a meet, and Jaden usually took first or second, and me and Tanner usually took second or third.”

Cole, who also plays football, is a leader on the 2021-22 WHS wrestling team which hopes to make waves in its sectional tournament despite having graduated several key performers from the season before. Not surprisingly, with Tanner and Cole on the team, the Trojans are tough in the heavier weights.

Cole Hennings is this week’s Globe Drill subject . We spoke with him recently and shot video footage as well. You can see the video online at . Here’s a sampling of the interview:

QUESTION: When did you begin wrestling , and what was it like when you were just beginning to learn the sport?

ANSWER: “I was kinda off and on, and then in fourth grade I really got into it. And Jaden was always in it, so you know you just always had to be there for the practices. And then you just learn to grow and love the sport. … There was a couple of times me and Tanner had to wrestle each other and you’d go out there and see who the better one was. It was just a straight competition of who was better and who learned more and who practiced harder -- who was in better condition. At home you got bragging rights.”


QUESTION: What do you think are some of your best wrestling qualities?

ANSWER: “I tend to be a hard worker. I mean, it’s just all about the work ethic and the conditioning. How hard you want to push yourself and push others in the room. ‘Cuz this year as a captain I’ve gotta push everyone to be the best they can and to be the best team, and to compete.”

QUESTION: Where do you get your inspiration?

ANSWER: “Someone who inspires me … at first when I was young it was my older brother, Jaden. He was the best out of all of us brothers, and you always wanted to work harder and beat him at it. And the last couple of years it was Kyle Mullaney (a former teammate and 2020 WHS graduate), and then Gable Steveson, who wrestles for the (Minnesota) Gophers, who just won the Olympic gold medal. He really inspired me just to work hard and get in there and get it done.”

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