Garski brothers put dent in Wayzata armor
After beating Hopkins 40-22 in the first round of the Section 6AAA team wrestling tournament Feb. 16 at Armstrong, the Minnetonka High squad had a date with destiny in the semifinals.
If the Skippers could find a way to win seven matches, they would be in the thick of it against Wayzata. It was a longshot to be sure, based on statistical data, but in wrestling anything is possible.
In the end the Skippers came up short, winning only three individual matches. Two of those wins came courtesy of the Garski brothers, Avery, a sophomore at 152 pounds, and Trevor, a senior at 182 pounds. Heavyweight Oscar Arteaga pinned Wayzata’s Drew Greely for another six points, as the Skippers lost 50-15.
In the championship match Willmar edged Wayzata 32-31.
After their matches, the Garski brothers talked about the wins against Wayzata and their success this season.
Avery, who wrestled Wayzata’s Blake Hamlin, said he found a weakness in the first period that he exploited for a second-period pin.
“I found out that if I put pressure on his hand I could take him over,” said Avery. “It worked in the first period, so I went right back to it.”
Avery, who has 10 pins along with a 26-12 record, added, “We had hoped to keep it close against Wayzata and build momentum that way. It is always hard wrestling against them because of their experience.”
Wrestlers such as Nick O’Brien (126) and Weston Droegemueller (138) are two Wayzata wrestlers with years of experience at the national level. Both have more than 30 wins going into section individuals this weekend at Mound-Westonka.
Trevor, who decisioned Tim Karpitski of the Trojans 7-3, said he is making up for lost time.
“I missed quite a bit of the season due to a broken hand,” he said. “It feels good to be back in the lineup.”
Trevor had two wins on Saturday, boosting his season record to 14-7.
“I was able to use the duck under [against Karpitski],” he said. “As one of the captains, I am proud of our young wrestlers. We have a lot of power in the middle weights and with Oscar at heavyweight.”
Whenever one of the brothers is wrestling, the other has a front-row seat on the bench to cheer him on. They are competitive with one another, yet they’re also proud of each other.
This season Minnetonka has a new head coach, Josh Frie. Jim Nunn and Jeff Lamphere, the former co-head coaches, still come around to watch.
“Our coaches are really good,” said Trevor. “Coach Montague gets everyone to work.”
“We are learning some new techniques this year,” said Avery.
Like most wrestlers, the Garski brothers dream of going to state. Now that his hand has healed, Trevor has a chance. Wayzata’s Karpitski, who is also certified at 170 pounds, might wrestle 182 at sectionals. Other than Karpitski, the contenders at 182 don’t have records comparable to Trevor’s.
Avery is in a tough weight class at 152. Colten Carlson of Willmar, who is 32-4 this season, looms as the section favorite. Collin Sohn of Wayzata is 28-7 with a boatload of pins. Avery would most likely have to beat one or both of them to advance to state.
Win or lose, Avery knows his brother will be behind him 100 percent.
Contact John Sherman at email@example.com