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Sleepy Eye boys, Winsten Nienhaus and Wyatt Pollard, wrestle on Eagles varsity team

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The Sleepy Eye schools are part of a coop wrestling team with the New Ulm Eagles. Varsity wrestlers from Sleepy Eye are Winsten Nienhaus—a freshman at Public School and Wyatt Pollard, an eighth grader at St. Mary’s School. 

Pictures are against the Wabasso team. It was a a triangular. The teams were New Ulm, Wabasso and Windom-Mt. Lake.

Top left:  Winsten Nienhaus, wrestling at 132, is pictured pinning his Wabasso opponent, using a cradle. Right: Wrestling at 145, Wyatt Pollard works to keep Wabasso senior, Gabe Martin, from an escape. Bottom: Sleepy Eye Varsity wrestlers on the New Ulm Eagles team are Wyatt Pollard (left) an eighth grader at St. Mary’s and Winsten Nienhaus, a freshman at Public School.

The Herald-Dispatch asked the local wrestlers about their involvement in the sport.

Winsten said he’s been wrestling for 10 years, starting when he was in kindergarten.

“This is my first year starting on Varsity,” said Winsten. “I wrestled a couple matches on varsity last year, otherwise I  was on JV. I was also on the junior high team before that. 

“From kindergarten through eighth grade, I wrestled lots of folkstyle competitions and also went to National matches. Last year I placed 5th at the Gopher Nationals.”

Winsten also went to Youth State in third grade through eighth grade at MNUSA and NYWA competitions.

Winsten wrestles at 126 or 132, depending on where the coaches decide they need him. Winsten’s record, as of Feb. 12, is 11-6. 

“It is a higher level of competition on Varsity,” he said. “You can be in the same weight class as a 7th grader to a 12th grader, beginners to advanced.”

Asked what his goal is for the rest of the season Winsten said, “To have our team place at Sections.”

Wyatt said he’s been wrestling for nine years. Last year, as a seventh grader on Varsity, he was injured and didn’t get to compete the entire season.

“The season was going great,” said Wyatt. “I was glad to be wrestling with Varsity, until I fractured my leg during a match last January, which ended the season for me.”

“I’ve moved up a few weight classes from last season, and have had the opportunity to wrestle some older guys, which has been very beneficial,” said Wyatt. “I like being challenged to help me develop as a wrestler. I think wrestling older, stronger guys is helping me gain valuable experience.”

Wyatt wrestles at both 138 and 145, depending on where the coaches line the team up to give the Eagles the best chance to win. Wyatt’s record, as of Feb. 12, is 7-10. The Eagles’ team record is 12-5.

“My goal for the season is to win as many matches as I can and do my best to benefit the team,” said Wyatt.

The Eagles’ wrestled on Thursday, Feb. 18 at St. Peter, along with the St. James Area team. On Saturday they wrestle at Mankato West.