Wrestling is among the most grueling sports.
Athletes must handle its physical nature, while often trying to shed any excess pounds.
So when a wrestler struggles, it can often push them away from the sport.
For Jordon Goebel, it pushed him to become one of the state’s best.
Goebel has gone from a middle-weight sophomore who experienced more downs than ups in a 15-25 season, to a consistent force in Pierz’ upper weights, sporting a 26-4 record and the No. 8 ranking in Class A at 160 pounds.
“My sophomore year was definitely my most challenging year of wrestling,” Goebel said. “I had a difficult time making the weight and was not as confident in my wrestling abilities. However, during this year I worked every morning to get better and achieve my goals of becoming a better wrestler.”
Despite his record, Goebel came within a point of advancing to state individually at sections, dropping a heartbreaking true-second match.
However, Goebel believes going through his set of challenges as a sophomore helped him improve to 28-13 as a junior, and have even greater success this winter as a senior.
“I believe my sophomore year was my most important year of my career because I didn’t give up and kept working to get better,” Goebel said. “From this, my work ethic kept improving. Because of that season I am grateful for the progress I have made, which has helped me stay focused.”
Two weeks ago Goebel was an individual champion at the Eden Prairie Invite, which included three of the top seven ranked teams in Class AAA, while he earned two more pins this week at 182 as the Pioneers remained unbeaten in dual action at 21-0.
If anyone is surprised by the team’s run at perfection, Pierz’ veterans aren’t among them.
“From the beginning of the year I expected nothing less,” Goebel said. “The group of wrestlers that we have this year have all been through the last three state appearances together and since we lost out every year, I think that is what has driven us to a great season and hopefully an even better finish in the state tournament.”
Pierz was scheduled to wrestle one more regular season dual Friday as a rare underdog, traveling to second-ranked Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.
Then, it’s on to Section 7A action, beginning this week with Pierz hosting the winner between Nashwauk-Keewatin-Greenway and Deer River, Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the final four at Holdingford, Friday.
After that, Goebel hopes to do as an individual what he has already done with his team: compete at state.
“I think it is important for us to first make it to state and then also make it individually without looking too far ahead,” Goebel said. “If we can accomplish this, then my next goal would be coming home from the state tournament with two medals, one for team and one for individuals. I think it is time our team places and I am looking forward to a run in the individual tournament as well.
“It has always been a dream of mine,” Goebel said. “Personally, I could not picture a better way to end my high school career. It is going to take some hard work, but it’s worth it.”
Pierz routs Kimball, Huskers
Pierz completed a sweep of Central Minnesota Conference foes, and with it the conference title, by smashing host Kimball Area 51-18, Jan. 30 and host Holdingford 59-10, Jan. 31.
Seniors Brandon Sullivan, Goebel, Ryley Smude and Curtis Brisk, sophomore Kolton Eischens and freshman Brandon Ortman earned falls against Kimball, with junior Cole Brausen and freshmen Matt Kummet and Brett Kapsner winning by decision.
Senior Evan Woitalla, junior Austin Gall, Sullivan and Goebel earned falls versus the Huskers, with freshman Andrew Tomala and Eischens earning major decisions and Smude winning 10-7.
Holdingford picked up a major decision from junior Jamey Koetter and decisions from senior Kyle Gerads and junior Zach Scott.