Saturday, April 19, 2014
   
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Swede wrestlers set lofty goals On the mat, success breeds more success

Sometimes, the year after a best-ever season can be a let down.

Not for the Gothenburg wrestling team. Not this year.

The Swedes are on the brink of yet another record-setting season on the mat both as a team and as a group of strong individuals.

“Every year as we get more successful and the expectations change,” said coach Eric Manstedt. “The kids are really working their tails off and I think in the end we’re going to see one of the best wrestling teams this school has ever had.”

Gothenburg returns 16 letter winners including five state qualifiers and two state medalists.

“We are extremely experienced,” Manstedt said. “The kids are coming back stronger and hungrier with some pretty lofty goals.”

Of course the Swede wrestling team would like to fill the school’s trophy case but this season is about far more than hardware.

It’s about proving they are worthy of carrying the target that’s been placed on their backs.

“We’ve come a long way in what some people say is a short amount of time,” Manstedt said.

And the boys want more.

Junior Mitchell Spiegel and senior Tanner Schwanz have re-written the school’s record board.

Both have qualified for state each year and each earned sixth-place medals in Omaha last winter.

Spiegel, who will wrestle again at 103 pounds, has his sights set on a higher state finish.

“He’s got some real good goals in mind,” Manstedt said, “very achievable goals.”

Schwanz is just one win away from 100 career victories and is only 10 takedowns shy of the school’s career record.

Manstedt said moving up two weights from last year to 130 should not hinder Schwanz in any way.

“He’s a very determined young man,” the coach said.

Fellow returning state qualifiers Bryce Eggleston, Kyle Demoret and Dane Ehlers all have common goals: return to Omaha and make their presence known.

Eggleston, a junior, will wrestle at 135 pounds.

“His work ethic has been tremendous,” Manstedt said.

Demoret returns to the 170-pound class. The coach said the senior has provided solid leadership through action.

“He’s probably less than 30 seconds total away from being a three-time state qualifier,” Manstedt said of Demoret. “He comes back to the mat prepared to wrestle every match.”

Ehlers, a junior who returns to the heavyweight class, has been open to

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