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Team has new coaches and new faces

A new season with new coaches and a few wrestlers new to the sport has started for the Kenmare-Tioga-Ray squad.

12/01/10 (Wed)


A new season with new coaches and a few wrestlers new to the sport has started for the Kenmare-Tioga-Ray squad.


Co-coach Lars Christensen, of Kenmare and now in his third year with the team, called the team strong as they posted a dual win over Stanley on November 23rd.


“But we need to work on the basics,” he said about the young squad. “We have some kids without a lot of mat time, and I’d like to see a few more kids come out and get interested in the sport.”


Christensen is joined by Dennis Kaatz, a new resident of Kenmare who recently retired from five years as an assistant wrestling coach at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Prior to that, Kaatz had retired from teaching social studies for 35 years and coaching wrestling for 20 years at Wadena-Deer Creek High School in Minnesota, where his teams saw a fair amount of success.


“I’m the Brett Favre of coaching,” he said. “I keep retiring and coming back again. I moved here this summer, and they talked me into it!”


He described the K-T-R wrestlers as working hard and trying to improve. “We have a mix of veteran and young wrestlers,” he said, “and we don’t have large numbers. The key for us is to improve each time we go out. Our goal is to get better each time we go out and wrestle.”


Like Christensen, Kaatz wants to see an increase in the number of athletes who join the wrestling team. “The more wrestlers, the better the competition in the practice room and better everybody gets,” he said.


The wrestlers will continue working on their technique and learning how to be competitive individually and together. “We want to instill that idea of a team,” said Kaatz, adding that another goal of the program was to be successful on the mat and in life.


He credited Christensen with providing a good coaching situation, and longtime team members Braden Overson and Kyle Helmers with their leadership.


Members of K-T-R co-op practice in their respective gyms and get together once each week at one of the schools for a combined session. The co-op has not declared an official mascot, but Kaatz said the wrestlers gave themselves the unofficial nickname of the “Roughnecks.”


“The wrestlers represent their own schools,” said Kaatz, “but they are a team together and have an identity.”


K-T-R roster

Leading the K-T-R squad this season are veteran seniors Kyle Helmers of Kenmare and Braden Overson of Tioga, who are joined by newcomer Kody Forbis of Tioga.


Two juniors returned to the team, including Jeremiah McDonald of Kenmare and Riley Syverson of Tioga.


Sophomores suiting up for the mat are Briot Nehring and Shelby Braswell of Kenmare and Rhett Wolter of Tioga.


Three freshmen weighing in this season include Riese Dignan of Kenmare and Jaden Iverson and Kyle Syverson of Tioga.


Eighth graders ready to wrestle are Tanner Egeberg and Xavier Maureaux of Kenmare, with Kyle Iwen of Tioga.


Ty Jesz of Kenmare is the lone seventh grade member of the team.


Coaches for the season are Lars Christensen and Dennis Kaatz working with the Kenmare wrestlers, and Dave Rau and Jeff Williams assisting the Tioga and Ray team members.


Kenmare students taking statistics for the team are Katelynn Ringsaker and Alex Grosser.


Season schedule

The team opened the 2010-2011 schedule with a dual victory against Stanley on November 23rd, held on the Tioga mat.


The season continues with the Velva Invitational Tournament on Saturday, followed by a dual against the Rolla-New Town team in the Kenmare gym on Friday, December 10th, at 6 pm. Kenmare will also host its own Invitational Tournament on December 11th, and competition for the month ends with the Linton Tournament on December 17th and 18th.


The wrestlers will stay busy in January, starting with a dual against the Bishop Ryan team in Tioga on the 7th, beginning at 7 pm. The team travels to the New Town Tournament on the 8th, then competes in the Rugby Boosters Tournament on the 14th and 15th.


Kenmare fans can catch more action on the home mat in a dual against Rugby scheduled for January 20th, beginning at 7 pm. The team will participate in the Rolla Tournament on the 22nd and travel to New Town for a dual on the 27th before heading to New Salem for the East/West Tournament on the 28th and 29th.


The regional tournament will take place February 12th, followed by the Class B state wrestling tournament in Fargo on February 17th, 18th and 19th.