Pierz senior Brett Kapsner is the Record’s Wrestler of the Year
By Tyler ohmann
For a team that loses only two duals all year, one of which was the state championship, it is pretty certain that
there is one wrestler that anchors that squad.
For the Pierz Pioneers, who took second in Class A, that anchor was senior Brett Kapsner.
“He is a guy that you can really count on for a win. If you need a pin, he really works to get it,” said Pierz head wrestling coach Mark Jensen. “A lot of times it came down to that point in a match, and he’s a guy that I can move up and down in my lineup. He’s just really versatile, and a go-to guy when you need a win.”
Kapsner went 42-3, which also included a runner-up finish at 182 pounds at state. His only losses were to state champions at 170 and 182 pounds, and a fifth place state finisher.
“One of my goals was to get that high on the podium, but nothing is guaranteed,” Kapsner said. “You could get knocked off or have a bad day, but I’m glad I got to wrestle under those lights on Saturday night. It’s something that you watch and always hope you can do.”
“I think that the effort you put in and the time, and it really shows in the results,” Kapsner said.
A blue collar work ethic is credited for Kapsner’s success according to Jensen, which makes it no surprise that Kapsner is contemplating going to school to be a diesel mechanic.
“We’ve had a number of people, and Kapsner is certainly included, that have a workman-type mentality,” Jensen said. “They come in and do their job, and they kind of bring their lunch box to work and put in a hard day.”
“They’re not flashy, or necessarily real vocal, but they lead by example, and he is certainly like that,” Jensen said.
It was not a foregone conclusion that Kapsner would complete his senior season with such success, finishing with more than 160 career wins, and more than 40 pins, because he separated his shoulder during the football season. Kapsner is also contemplating playing football at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
“He came off the football season a bit dinged up, but he never hesitated and put it all on the line,” Jensen said.
Kapsner said he would never use injury as an excuse, and that frankly, he wasn’t all that injured.
“I was having some issues with my back tightening up, but nothing that you could point at and say, ‘Oh, he was injured,’” Kapsner said. “I was as healthy as I could ask for.”
“That’s half the battle, staying healthy,” Kapsner added.
It is a wonder that Kapsner stayed healthy, as he enjoys the the rough and tumble of the mat, and wrestles aggressively.
“It’s kind of a rougher sport, and I like the physicality of it,” Kapsner said. “I like the one-on-one of wrestling, because you have your spot, and you have to earn your spot.”
Kapsner also a lot of gives credit to his coach, who retired after the season ended.
“He tells you to do something, I would automatically want to do it better for him,” Kapsner said. “Him being around just makes you want to do better, and be the best that you can be.”
Kapsner will also be the first to admit that the bright lights of the individual championship, which he wrestled in March 4, got to him a bit.
“That was the biggest stage I had ever been on, and I was a lot more nervous than I should have been,” Kapsner said. “You just need to go out there an wrestle your match, but it was something that I’ll never forget, all those eyes watching you felt like something real small in a big world.”
However, when it came down to it. Pierz was happy to have Kapsner, who could wrestle in three different weight classes, on their side.
“He’s kind of a no-nonsense person, and someone that you can really count on,” Jensen said.