December 20, 2017 07:59 PM
(ABC 6 News) – In Albert Lea, it may be known to most as the “land between the lakes,” but at the city’s high school, it’s a wrestling hub in southeast Minnesota—and wrestlers like junior Zach Glazier has helped the program continue a strong tradition on the mats.
“Wrestling, it’s everything,” Glazier said. “It’s pretty much what I think about every day. Even in the offseason, it’s what I think about every day. It’s the biggest part of my life probably.”
“You’re not going to see many kids match his level in the state of Minnesota,” Albert Lea head wrestling coach Paul Durbahn said. “He’s a top-tier athlete, hard-working young man, and the daily work he’s putting in is why you’re seeing the success that he’s having this year.”
Durbahn calls Glazier, the top-ranked wrestler in the latest Minnesota Guillotine’s 170-pound group in Class AAA, an “intelligent” wrestler who sticks to a strategy, which has led to a winning trend on the mats in his career.
“He’s an all-around great kid,” Durbahn said “He comes in everyday with a great attitude, he’s a great leader. He picks up the rest of the group You name it, he’s got all the attributes you want with a kid on your team.”
In the 31st Minnesota Christmas Wrestling Tournament in Rochester on Dec. 15 and Dec 16, Glazier won the 170-pound title—winning five matches, four by major decisions, over the two-day stretch.
“It was extremely exciting, to win that tournament is huge, because it’s probably tougher than the state tournament I’d say,” Glazier said. “It includes all classes (of Minnesota), plus out of state kids, and there are no slouches. Everyone who is there is invited there, and everyone is tough, which makes for a really grueling tournament. (Winning it) That was awesome.”
“Any big tournament Zach has taken part in, it takes a lot of pressure off the athletes (at state),” Durbahn said. “Every match he goes in with the same attitude.”
In the championship, Glazier defeated previously top-ranked Prior Lake wrestler Kenny O’Neil in a 2-1 decision tiebreaker—the second time this season he’s defeated O’Neil.
“To get that rematch and do it again is quite the feat,” Durbahn said.
Even though it was thrilling for Glazier to win the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, he said he’s hoping his big weekend in the Med City leads to bigger things at the Minnesota State Individual Wrestling tournament in March—somewhere he’s been the previous three years.
“Since 8th grade, my first season on varsity, it’s been my goal to win a state title,” Glazier said. “I’ve been close, but not quite.”
In three years, Glazier has finished in the top four (3rd in 8th grade, 4th as a freshman, and 2nd as a sophomore)—this year though, winning a state title is something Glazier said he expects to achieve.
“This year, I feel I really have improved a lot,” Glazier said. “I think (a state title) is coming this year, I just have to keep the pedal to the medal and keep grinding.”
“We wrestle St. Michael-Albertville, Simley, Ellsworth (Wisconsin), Owatonna, we’re wrestling the best out there,” Durbahn added. “That competition is going to set him up well for the postseason.”
Glazier and the Tigers return to the mats in dual play on Friday at Austin.
Updated: December 20, 2017 07:59 PM
Created: December 20, 2017 05:10 PM
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