Many wrestlers may not achieve their goals due to COVID-19

Roman+Rogotzke+at+team+State+against+the+Wildcats.

Photo submitted by Matt Onken

Roman Rogotzke at team State against the Wildcats.

After taking second to the Shokapee Sabers for two years in a row, Stillwater is ranked number one for the first time on The Guillotine.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Stillwater wrestling may not get a chance to take home their state champion title if their season gets canceled.  With many of these kids wrestling their whole lives to make it here their dreams may not be able to come true.  

Last year was a great year for the Stillwater wrestlings high school program.  With many injuries to star wrestlers, the team was still able to be section 4AAA champions for the fourth year in a row, and finish the season with a 24-3 record. 

“Although it’s tough to have gotten so far and lost, our team had great success this year and I think it’s something we should all be proud of,” sophomore Dylan Dauffenbach said.

For many wrestlers, this could be heartbreak season not getting to be on the mat.  With 5 of the 14 starting weights graduating in the class of 2021 for many of these boys, this is the last time they will ever wrestle.  

“I look forward to every season and have always been excited for my senior year and am sad I won’t get that.  Fortunately for me, I am committed to wrestle at SDSU next year so no matter what this won’t be my last chance to wrestle, but I can’t imagine how some of my teammates feel possibly not getting to wrestle again,” senior Roman Rogotzke said.

 Because of this virus, it is more difficult to do the things that many have always been doing, and with Minnesota’s governor Waltz restrictions public activities.

It was hard to hear that season was delayed, but I am thankful it isn’t canceled and we still have hope.  If we are fortunate enough to have a season it won’t be without its challenges due to the restriction on who we are able to wrestle, and when we can.”

— Roman Rogotzke

  “Living on the border of Minnesota it is very easy to find practices in Wisconsin where the laws aren’t as strict, but there still are some practices in Minnesota that you can find.  It’s not too hard to find practices, but it is hard not having a routine and not having consistent practice partners and coaches like we are used to,” Dauffenbach said.

 MSHSL state wrestling tournament is the most important tournament of the year.  For many athletes, this is where their dreams come true.  

“I’ve always had a goal to be a state champion and once that came true I set a new goal to be a 2x state champion.  Sadly, that may not come true, but fortunately, I’m still wrestling in college and can still make new goals for myself,” Rogotzke said.

 In 2020, many sports seasons have been canceled and many kids missed out not only on becoming a better athlete but doing the things they love.  Last wrestling season, Stillwater wrestling got to finish out their season on Feb. 29 without cancellation due to covid.  And although these wrestlers were supposed to start to practice in November it has been delayed until January.  Due to the virus, this delayed start day is not a guarantee and the season could likely be canceled.  

“It was hard to hear that season was delayed, but I am thankful it isn’t canceled and we still have hope.  If we are fortunate enough to have a season it won’t be without its challenges due to the restriction on who we are able to wrestle, and when we can.  Thank being said me and my entire team are very grateful for the chance to wrestle this season and we all are keeping our heads up in hopes of having a season and taking home the state title,” Rogotzke said.

Because of this virus, there is a lot of uncertainty in the world and it is difficult to plan for the future.  Many of these wrestlers have spent their entire life trying to achieve their goals and they might not even get the chance to.  But with this team and community positivity, many believe we will get through this and make it happen.