Sports
Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestling targeting conference title

The Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestling team has set its sights on winning the Dunn-St. Croix Conference for the 2021-22 season, according to head coach Gable Frandsen.

For this winter sports preview, coach Frandsen took the time to preview the season and talk about his roster, which has a nice diversity of freshmen through seniors, meaning it’s a fairly balanced roster that will have a chance to compete against any team in the conference.

“This year, the experience levels throughout the wrestling team are very diverse,” Frandsen said. “We have some very experienced wrestlers, and we have some wrestlers who are very new to the sport.”

While it’s good for Frandsen’s roster to have a balance of new and experienced players, he said that the critical roles on the team will be played by returning wrestlers from last season that will serve as leaders for the roster.

“All the returning wrestlers from last season will play a critical role in the development of every athlete on the team, including the progression of themselves,” Frandsen said. “The returning wrestlers need to lead by example. For a wrestling team to be successful, everyone needs to be on the same page.”

While some teams and coaches are reserved in their expectations, Frandsen was straightforward in the goal of his team winning a conference championship this season. With the help of returning wrestlers and experienced coaching staff, Spring Valley/Elmwood is in a prime position to make a run at the conference title.

“For the team, our immediate goal is to win the conference,” Frandsen said. “To reach this goal, we need to focus on 1% improvement every day. The athletes need to become students of the sport, always correcting mistakes with a positive mindset and looking to improve. The entire coaching staff believes in every single one of our athletes.”

Last season, the team experienced trials and tribulations, just like many other sports teams throughout Pierce County. COVID-19 had an impact on the season, but even with that, two wrestlers made it to state, and others placed at the sectional tournament. Frandsen spoke about his team’s ability to battle adversity.

“COVID-19 challenged the wrestlers with many forms of adversity, from wearing a mask while wrestling to only being able to wrestle one-third of the matches that a normal wrestling season consists of. Handling and dealing with adversity is what wrestling is all about. The Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestling team did a fantastic job with overcoming adversity last season.”

Frandsen also spoke about the coaching staff, specifically how they all have different qualities and approaches which will help the wrestlers get a balanced experience. Overall, Frandsen is happy with the staff.

“Maja Casey and Dylan Bune are the Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestling assistant coaches,” Frandsen said. “Maja (Casey) has been an SVE wrestling coach for many years. Dylan (Bune) is an SVE alumnus and this will be his first year coaching for SVE. Every coach has different qualities to bring to the table, and all of those qualities blend well together. I’m very happy with our coaching staff.”

The next event on the calendar for the SVE wrestling team was on Tuesday, Dec. 14, which was a wrestling quad that was hosted at Baldwin-Woodville. That event was slated to begin at 5 p.m.

The 2021-22 Spring Valley wrestling team. Photo by Reagan Hoverman Spring Valley wrestlers: Kaleb Casey, Keegan Merth, Haeli Casey, Joel Anderson, Cole Steinmeyer, Tristan Neisinger, Lyndsey Stark, Max Schmitt, Aiden O’Meara, Avery Huebel.

Elmwood wrestlers: Brody Bleskacek, Frank Weix, Tylor LaCroix, Trace Anderson, Gavin Moats.

December 14, 2021