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Reurink headed back for state wrestling tournament

Wadena-Deer Creek freshman Tony Reurink is participating in state wrestling competition this weekend at Champlin Park High School.

Tony Reurink is on his way back to state.

The Wadena-Deer Creek freshman heavyweight will be competing in a special kind of state tournament in Champlin Park this weekend. He will be one of the more experienced wrestlers in the tournament, which is for seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders.

While some athletes like the total spectrum of sports, Reurink specializes in wrestling and makes it a year-around pursuit. While still a youngster in the world of prep wrestling, Reurink is far from being a novice. He had been wrestling since he was 5 years old.

Reurink started learning his wrestling skills as a member of the Alexandria Youth Wrestling Club. When his family moved to Wadena, Reurink found himself going from a Class 3A program to a Class 1A program. He has made the most of the opportunity by qualifying for two state tournaments. Competing in the 189-pound bracket last year, Reurink finished 1-2 but picked up some valuable experience -- and a strong desire to go back.

"Last year I was 1-2 and everyone in my class was a freshman," Reurink said. "The first match this freshman, who looked like a senior, just killed me. In my first match down there I lost in the last five seconds."

Convinced he was on the track to being a very good wrestler, Reurink went out and qualified for a second state trip this year by placing in a region tournament.

"He's got a good work ethic," Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Norm Gallant said, in praising his big freshman. "He's a kid that keeps getting better and better."

The high school wrestling season begins in November and ends in March but Reurink keeps the ball rolling by competing for the Minnesota West team out of Detroit Lakes during the spring and summer months. Minnesota West's season goes from March 7 to the end of July.

Wrestling for Minnesota West gives Reurink a chance to hone his Roman-Greco and freestyle wrestling skills. Reurink likes the speed of Roman-Greco matches, which are wrestled standing up and which reward takedowns more than on-the-mat pins.

"It's a faster pace," Reurink said with grin.

Greco-Roman wrestling forbids holds below the waist. A wrestler cannot use trips or avoid throws by hooking or grabbing their opponent's leg.