Borchardt boys wrestle up winsHolding a stopwatch in his hand, Dale Borchardt walked around the Cloquet wrestling gymnasium at Tuesday’s practice observing athletes as they squared off – Including a match between his oldest son, Reid, and his youngest, Mitchell.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Holding a stopwatch in his hand, Dale Borchardt walked around the Cloquet wrestling gymnasium at Tuesday’s practice observing athletes as they squared off – Including a match between his oldest son, Reid, and his youngest, Mitchell.
In fact, the rare matchup between the 145-pound Reid, an Esko junior, and 124-pound Mitchell, an Esko freshman, sparked Dale to talk about the atmosphere in their wrestling household.
“We’ll be watching a movie, and all of sudden Mitchell will throw me in a headlock – then it’s go time,” Dale said. “Usually he and I go at it – noogie wrestling – and Reid jumps in sometimes.”
Both brothers jumped into their favorite sport when they were young: Mitchell began wrestling in kindergarten, while Reid is now in his 10th season. Each are pivotal members of the Cloquet-Esko wrestling team, a program with half a dozen team victories already and off to its finest season since it became a varsity sport here in 2006.
“I think about wrestling all day long,” said the 5-foot-9 Reid. “It’s a sport we love so much during the season. Mitchell and I always work. Some weeks we even go for all seven days.”
“It’s fun to get out here,” added the smaller Mitchell, standing 5-foot-6. “You’re just pounding on guys. It takes some strength.”
Last Thursday, both brothers won their pair of matches in a triangular meeting with Grand Rapids and Virginia in Cloquet. Monday at Aitkin, each wrestled above his normal weight class, according to a thoroughly-impressed Coach Al Denman.
“They’ve been doing this since they were little shavers,” Denman said Tuesday. “Every good team needs to have those go-to guys. They are that for us. They give us a chance to win. They bring up the hope for the whole team.”
With the Borchardt brothers teamed up for 30-plus wins combined, the depth-laden Lumberjacks also look to Conner Denman, Jordan Baker, Alex Land, Seth Stevens, Casey Kulas, Treavor Lowther and Kristina Erickson for point support.
More importantly, family support is pivotal in the sport.
As many families are involved, the Borchardts are, too. While Reid and Mitchell wrestle, Dale serves as the junior varsity coach and Esko Youth Club director. Mom Wendy helps run the concession stand at all home meets in Cloquet. Tuesday night, Wendy thanked all within the program for their opportunities.
Denman was quick to add praise to families like theirs.
“They’re passionate about it – not just to benefit their own kids, but for the rest of the kids, as well,” Denman said, respectfully. “The Borchardt family invests a lot of time here.”
It’s an investment they wouldn’t want any other way.
“We’ve done this for 11 years now,” said Dale. “We’ve done it. We’ve enjoyed it. And the boys have been alright at it.”
“I’ve spent a lot of my life in this,” added Mitchell. “It’s fun.”
“To us, wrestling means a lot,” Reid said, smiling. “We talk about it a lot. It’s always a reoccurring event at our dinner table.”