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Honker wrestlers have 'crazy potential.' ...

Just about everybody who has gone out for wrestling has some experience on the mat. That pleases Honker head coach Danny Mogren, but he’s not resting on his laurels.

11/26/19 (Tue)

Just about everybody who has gone out for wrestling has some experience on the mat. That pleases Honker head coach Danny Mogren, but he’s not resting on his laurels.

Not only does Mogren have a boatload of experience to work with, but his assistant coach has years of wrestling in the high school and college ranks.

You’d think that with all that talent, Mogren could sit back, whistle and point and the kids do the rest.

He admits this is one of those years in which he doesn’t have to start from scratch. But that’s not how Danny Mogren rolls.

“Right now we’re conditioning because we really need to be in shape,” he said. “It’s coming, but we have to polish.”

He added, “This group is insanely talented. Really, there are no new kids so that makes it nice. We can go right into it.”

Mogren has 25 grapplers who are ready to go. And with that many athletes, you’d think the line up would be full.

But, according to the head coach, there are four spots 138, 182, 195 and 285 that most likely won’t get filled because he doesn’t see any of his kids getting into those weight classes.

What he does have is a set of determined kids who are tired of playing second best and are setting the bar high.

“We have some strong ones,” Mogren said. “Skyler (Ford) was seventh in state and we had three state qualifiers in Zane Miller, Maverick Ford and Michael Schlosser (graduated).”

He said they look good, they’re healthy, but they just need to get into better shape to have the endurance to last at least 6 minutes on the mat.

Skyler Ford and Payton Witt are the only two seniors on this team and both will be expected to make things happen for the Honkers.

“Skyler is pretty focused,” Mogren said. “The only hard part is what weight is he going to go, 150 or 162? Payton is tall and can wrestle the bigger guys.”

Ford is a worker bee and he isn’t going to stop until he succeeds.

“My experience will help,” he said. “I’m using it in the wrestling room and I just know it will help out on the mat.”

As a team, he said there are a lot of younger grapplers, but they all have experience and they are hungry for victory.

Witt believes that with the amount of talent this team has, the Honkers could go to state in duals and six or seven individual wrestlers have the opportunity.

“I’m cutting weight to 145 and I’m going to destroy the competition,” he said. “I can’t let my teammates down or myself.”

He says the Honkers are going to make it through a lot this year with the toughest spot in the region being Minot Ryan.

“Everybody is beatable,” Witt said. “No matter how long the season, we’ll always embrace the grind. We’re going to out work everybody.”

And, as this interview was being conducted, Witt’s motivation went through the roof with some good news.

He received a text from Moorhead State University wrestling coach Chris Nelson that he wants to recruit Witt to the Minnesota college next year.

Beyond Ford and Witt, Mogren has numerous rising stars that should bring plenty of fans to the matches.

It starts with Diontrea Anderson, who continues to recover from a football injury.

“Wrestling is Diontrea’s passion,” Mogren said. “He’ll be OK that way (injury), but will have to beat out Skyler or Payton, or drop some weight.”

Andrew Christensen should figure prominently into the scheme of things. He’s actually on a weight gain program and Mogren says he loves it while Mogren manages it.

“Andrew is taller and has leverage,” he said. “He’s at 165, so to make 170 would be ideal.”

Miller, who wrestled heavyweight, at least part of last year, was one of those state qualifiers. But as Mogren puts it, the motivated junior wants to see his name on the Kenmare Wrestling Wall of Fame.

“He’s cutting to 220 and he says he feels lighter and quicker,” Mogren said. “Dual wise, we’ll move him all over the place. He wants his name on that wall.”

He tossed several other names around including four Lignite students who are in the program this season. They include Lee and Lyndon Feldner, Alex Bly and Isaac Nelson.

“Individually, we could have eight qualifiers and five placers,” Mogren said. “I think it’s very possible. I’m just going off our experience. You’ve seen their records, these kids are good.”

Logan Torgison, a newcomer to Bowbells, sees the same thing. The new assistant coach has a lifetime of experience himself. He said he’s really impressed with the work ethic of the Honker team.

“They all have crazy potential,” he said. “Actually, they are pretty good all the way down. The Ford boys are very tough and it’s kind of fun to be working with these guys. I’m excited to see how far these kids go.”

Torgison himself has an impressive resume. He graduated in 2008 from Polson, Mont., High School where he won 145 matches in his career.

It includes, third at 105 in 2005, second at 125 in 2006, first at 135 in 2007 and first at 145 in 2008 in the Montana Class A Wrestling Tournament.

Torgison is going to pass that experience on now that he’s part of Honker Nation.

He also got some collegiate wrestling experience in New York.

Torgison said high school wrestling technique is different in northwest Montana, but he’s going to convey that knowledge because it can’t hurt.

According to Mogren, Region 3 is going to be a fight all season. Nine teams make up Region 3 including the likes of Velva, Des Lacs/Burlington and Rugby.

“We could be second or we could be eighth, it’s that competitive,” Mogren said. “Strategically, Minot Ryan’s best are at the top of the scale, so we can win the lower weights, forfeit the top four weights and still win the match.”

MonDak (Grenora-Westby), Northern Lights (Rolla) and Stanley will be as competitive... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!