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Terry Vandrovec column: Dretsch lands scholarship from Gophers

Gabe Dretsch was sold. It was the University of Minnesota that needed some convincing. "I kind of always wanted to go there, but I waited for them to come talk to me," the Frazee senior wrestler said. "My goal was to place high enough (at the Sen...

Gabe Dretsch was sold. It was the University of Minnesota that needed some convincing.

"I kind of always wanted to go there, but I waited for them to come talk to me," the Frazee senior wrestler said.

"My goal was to place high enough (at the Senior Open in Cleveland) so they'd talk to me about it."

He did -- taking fourth -- and they did -- offering a partial scholarship. Though the delay did cost him some knee cartilage, which was torn during the tournament.

The reigning 160-pound Class 1A state champion had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday, a day after officially signing with the Gophers. He'll be off his feet for two weeks.

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"It's just an exciting day," said Hornets head coach Clay Nagel, whose son Matt was named the Gophers' outstanding freshman this season.

"Anytime you get one in Division II it's an accomplishment, and to go Division I is even better."

Dretsch, who will redshirt and eventually compete at 165 or 174 pounds, said he thinks wrestling

year round will be "fun," always has. Yet prior to his showing in Cleveland, the small-town stigma carried more weight with recruiters than attitude, work ethic, 176 career wins and a state championship.

He was considering Minnesota State Moorhead before Minnesota came around.

"He beat some real good kids and that opens up their eyes," Nagel said. "In single A we don't get a lot of respect."

At the rate of one Division I wrestler per year, that's bound to change.

Something else

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Nagel is coaching Team Minnesota at this weekend's Western Junior Regionals in Las Vegas. Frazee standouts Adam Aho, Andy Quittschreiber, Brenton Newling and Isaac Ratz will each be competing. ... The first football recruiting fair which aims to fit next year's top seniors with interested schools will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 14 at the Hilton Minneapolis North. High school coaches are also welcome to attend. ... Fergus Falls swingman Matt Draxten signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Minnesota, Crookston. ... Moorhead senior setter Laura Petry, an all-Forum volleyball pick, has committed to Minnesota State Moorhead. ... Four sophomore Moorhead boys hockey players are bound for a pair of elite tournaments representing Team Minnesota. Defensemen Jon Ammerman, Brian Lee and Tyler Johnson will play in the USA Hockey National Select 16 Tournament June 27 through July 3 in Rochester, N.Y., while forward Matt Becker will compete in the Select 17 Tournament in St. Cloud, Minn., July 11-17.

Readers can reach Terry Vandrovec at

(701) 241-5548 or tvandrovec@forumcomm.com

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