Edina Wrestling Program Continues to Grow


Mimi Beringer

Sophomores Malachi Johnson (left) and Liam Anderson-Haukaas (right) practice their grappling skills in the EHS Wrestling Room as they prepare for their upcoming competition.

Jack Marker, staff writer

The wrestlers step up to the mat, staring each other in the eyes. The tension between the two opponents is thick enough to be cut with a knife. However, both realize that the biggest opponent is not the one standing across from them, but instead is themselves. Welcome to Edina High School Wrestling, where being mentally tough is as important as being physically strong, and where being disciplined is as important as having good technique.

Wrestling is an unforgiving sport with constant action. When something goes wrong, there is nowhere to hide. It is just you versus your opponent. Each wrestler is matched up against their opponent based on their weight class in order to create an equal playing field. There are 14 different weight categories ranging from 106 pounds all the way to 285 pounds.

Part of being disciplined in wrestling is maintaining weight. It can be hard to stay in the same weight class for every match. Sophomore Jack Merriam describes the best ways to stay on weight. “You just have to eat healthy throughout the season and to put on a bunch of clothes and jump rope/run stairs in order to sweat off weight on a match day.” Sophomore Will Musolf states, “Out of every meet I have participated in, only a couple of wrestlers from Edina have missed their weight.”

Coach Josh Burhans puts the team through gruelling exercises to help instill discipline. “You can’t give up or rest during a match and you have to make your opponent believe he can’t win. Physical and mental toughness is integral,” Merriam said.

Gaining a mental edge starts with tough daily practices. The difficult practices have the added benefit of bonding the team together through shared experiences. “It’s a blast to hang out with the wrestlers and it’s a highly satisfying sport when you win,” Merriam said. “I picked wrestling because I know it’s a challenge and I have a lot of friends who do it,” Musolf said. “It’s really fun to hang out at the meets and cheer on your teammates.”

The EHS wrestling team has had a phenomenal year compared to past years. Numbers are growing, not just at EHS, but at the middle schools and elementary schools as well. A new wrestling room was added as part of the high school expansion, and a new mat was donated by the Edina Athletic Booster Club, benefitting the whole wrestling program. The future looks bright for the EHS wrestling program, and the discipline that the wrestlers learn will serve them long after they graduate.