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Homecoming welcomes state wrestlers
A heartwarming welcome by family and friends greeted the two Tri-City United wrestlers who competed at the State Tournament last week.
The “Congratulations” and “Welcome Back” gathering was held in the high school commons area on Sunday afternoon, March 3, for TCU wrestlers Mason Brownlee, son of James and Melissa Brownlee from Montgomery, and Josh Selly, son of Jerry and Ann Selly of rural Le Sueur.
Activities Director Greg Feddema organized the event after Brownlee finished fourth place in the 138-pound class, and Selly finished as a state runner up in the 152-pound class.
Feddema said he was impressed watching the two athletes compete in the state event. He pointed out their dedication to the sport, as well as noting the dedication from the coaches and the youth programs.
The athletes’ coach, Brian Mikel, thanked a host of people who have helped in the boys’ success. He thanked parents of athletes, coaches Cory Block, Nate Friederich, and Joe Selly, the tremendous fan support from the students, parents and TCU faculty.
Mikel then recapped the boys’ performances at the tournament. He said Brownlee got off to a rough start, but that didn’t stop the TCU athlete.
“As with all great wrestlers, he overcame that and won the next match,” Mickel said. “He got to the semi-finals and took on the #2 kid from Stewartville. We were close, but Mason lost after four overtimes. But Mason will learn and be back. The thing that impressed me the most by Mason was after the heartbreaking loss, he came back and won the wrestleback.”
In the third place match, the “kryptonite match” he was defeated by Luke Zilverburg of Scott West, putting the TCU athlete in fourth place.
“I know what Mason’s goal is next year,” Mikel said.
Mikel spoke next about Selly, who he said, peaked at the right time of the season.
“As a coach, you always want the wrestlers to peak at section, and Josh did,” Mikel said. “During the tournament, I think he used the same move in all three rounds. Not many guys will choose ‘up’ in the second round, but Josh did because he knew he’d score.”
The coach said Selly’s final round had a little bit of a road block because he was up against a four-time state champion (Jake Short of Simley).
“He is Division 1 material and ranked #1 in the nation,” Mikel said. “I told Josh to go out and just wrestle, and he did. He came off the mat with a smile.”
The coach said he has preached and tried to install in his athletes to “win with class and lose with class”. He said Brownlee and Selly both showed great class at the state tournament.
“Mason, after four overtimes, loses but he shook the opponent’s hand and the coach’s hand,” Mikel said. “I thought we handled ourselves in a great fashion.”