The sport of wrestling can be categorized as an individual sport. In the end, each match is a one-on-one encounter that can be won or lost by a person’s individual achievements. For the Kasson-Mantorville wrestling team, that individual aspect caused the KoMets to be put in the discussion as one of the most dominant teams in the history of the state. With standouts like Brady Berge, Noah Ryan, Keaten Schorr and Patrick Kennedy, who would claim individual state championships over the course of the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament.
But make no mistake about it. This is a dominant team and that was proven as much in the team tournament. With crushing victories over Worthington and Foley in their back pocket, the KoMets had Simley on the ropes. Knowing that a pin would seal their second straight Class AA State Championship and third in the past five years, head coach Jamie Heidt and lineup guru Kevin Berge made an unorthodox choice for the 170-pound match when they called upon Dalton Andrist.
“We preach that everybody is important on this team and that everybody matters,” Heidt explained. “We’re going to give you opportunities and when you get those opportunities, we expect you to seize them. He knows what his job is and he was ready for the call all day long.”
When Andrist hit the mat, he came out with the same killer instinct that existed throughout the KoMets’ lineup all season long. After the match went into the second period, Andrist would become aggressive and get Blake Holzem on his back for the dual-clinching pin and the K-M bench became completely unglued in support of their teammate.
“It was a nice win for me, but I do it for the team,” Andrist said while celebrating the championship. “We all train, we all fight and we all win together. I know everyone in the state trains together and they train hard, but what separates us is that we’re like a brotherhood. We’re really unique in a special kind of way and that’s something you don’t get all the time.”
“That’s what’s pretty awesome about this team,” Heidt added. “It’s not just the Brady Berges, Noah Ryans and Keaten Schorrs, it’s everybody. When we give a guy like that the nod, he just goes out and wrestles.”
In the end, it wasn’t just the fact that the KoMets were a team that made this state championship impressive…it was the way they accomplished that feat. Throughout the course of the season, K-M dominated everything they were a part of. In duals, that meant a perfect 25-0 record where the most points that the KoMets allowed were Simley’s 20 during the Swalla Duals on January 28.