Former MWHS principal (and later superintendent) Gene Zulk would always start his introduction at public events with “I’m Gene Zulk, and I am proud and privileged to be the principal at MWHS”. That made an impression on me early in my career, and I can also say that I, Todd Munsterteiger, am truly proud and privileged to be the head wrestling coach at Mound Westonka High School. Wrestling isn’t the most well-known sport, and certainly doesn’t get the attention, fans and accolades other sports do at our high school. However, the amount of hard work, late nights and weekends, and literal blood, sweat and tears it takes to be successful far outweigh the more “popular” sports. There is little fame that goes with being a wrestler, and practices and competition are far from “fun”. Wrestling is one of the most physically demanding sports, and win or lose there is no one else to blame but yourself. Every single moment on the mat you are putting yourself out there in a battle of wills that takes extreme focus, and takes you to the brink of mental and physical exhaustion. Experiencing this as an athlete and being able to share this journey with our kids gives me extreme pride.
Although I am always proud of our wrestling team and program, there was an extreme sense of pride last Saturday as we won the Fridley Invitational for the first time ever. Over the years, we have done well at this tournament; and last year we fell just short of winning the championship. I knew we had a shot this year, but after losing a few starters and not being full-strength, I was not sure we had enough to get the job done. We, as coaches, asked a few kids to step up and fill in the holes, hoping we could win a few matches to help the team score. Step up they did, as we placed all twelve wrestlers in the top five, with everyone winning at least two matches. The excitement of winning come from behind matches and watching our kids realize their potential right before my eyes was one of the most fulfilling moments I have had in my eighteen years at MWHS. Watching our entire squad being handed the first-place trophy, while hearing the roar of the parents who tirelessly donate their time and energy for the program was a feeling like no other. It was the culmination of hours of hard work on everyone’s part, and a snapshot of how great we can be if we stay the course.
Todd Munsterteiger, Proud and Privileged Head Wrestling Coach and the White Hawk wrestlers after their big win in Fridley this Saturday
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