By Alex Strouf, The Denmark News
The 22 year drought is over. The Denmark wrestling team finally has it’s first champion since Matt Vandenbusch in 1993–a good one, too.
Denmark High School sophomore Brock Bergelin has been wrestling since he could walk. The offseason doesn’t exist for Bergelin, because he’s always in the weight room, on the mat, and attending tournaments. This past fall, Bergelin attended the Super 32 in North Carolina. He won two matches before losing to a wrestler from California. The nation’s best attend, and Bergelin was the only 106-pounder to attend from the Dairyland. He takes this seriously.
Last season, Bergelin did not make it out of the regional tournament. He was disappointed. Many were surprised. That wasn’t the normal Brock, and he knew it. That left a chip on his shoulder until his arm was raised this past Saturday.
Bergelin cruised to a 44-1 record before his finals match on Saturday. His opponent? Josh Ehster of Mosinee, the same Josh Ehster that Bergelin pinned at the sectional tournament seven days prior.
He wasn’t able to pin Ehster the second time around, but a 3-0 decision that crowned Bergelin as the Division Two 106 pound champion was sweeter than the sectional pin, it was just as sweet as his addiction to Fiji Water.
“No one loves wrestling more than Brock,” Denmark varsity wrestling head coach Tim Kapinos told me, “I’m really glad he’s been apart of the team these past two years.”
After the whistle was blown, Bergelin threw up his hands in utter disbelief. His arm was raised by the official, and he hugged his coaches. After about a minute of discussion with his mentors, a moment that was as sweet as the title itself occurred and a picture snapped by the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Evan Siegle went viral. Bergelin sprinted up ten stairs to his father, Jim, and embraced him in the best hug they’ve ever had, I’d assume.
“It was awesome. I still really can’t describe it. I felt good for about a minute then everything just got really emotional. After I finished talking with my coaches, I looked up in the stands and saw my dad (Jim Bergelin) bawling his eyes out. I was like, ‘Holy crap he’s pretty happy’ and I ran up and hugged him. You share moments like that with the ones you love the most.”
Stan Yazawa, former Denmark head coach, was appointed to hand Bergelin his medal. Yazawa was close friends with Bergelin’s maternal grandfather, Jerry Leiterman, who the Vikings’ football stadium is named after.
“It was really cool,” Bergelin said, “I had no idea they were doing that.”
Brock Bergelin. 2015 State Champion. 45-1 record as a sophomore. What’s next?
“I’ll be bumping up to 113 for the next few months for some independent stuff. I probably don’t weigh anywhere near that right now (laughs).”