The son of a football coach who has bounced around to different schools in the area, Truman Werremeyer grew up watching wrestling, going to matches with his dad, Wayne, to support his dad's football players who also wrestled.
A lot of his childhood was spent sitting in the stands, admiring the wrestlers on the mat. When his dad coached at Moorhead High School, it was Chase Morlock he looked up to, a Moorhead graduate and former North Dakota State running back.
“I really admired him a lot and that got me into wrestling, seeing him wrestle,” Werremeyer said.
Now, he stands atop the same pedestal as the guys he used to look up to. A junior at Fargo Davies, Werremeyer is the highest-ranked wrestler from the metro area in the latest North Dakota Class A coaches poll. At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, he enters the state wrestling tournament, which begins Thursday, Feb. 20, as the top seed in Class A in the 220-pound weight class with a 32-5 record.
“I used to just kind of wrestle to stay in shape for other sports, but now I've kind of fallen in love with wrestling,” Werremeyer, who also plays football and baseball for Davies said. “I just have a good time.”
Wrestling since he was in fourth grade, Werremeyer celebrated the greatest accomplishment of his seven-year career last Saturday, Feb. 15, winning his first East Region title. He scored a takedown in the last three seconds of the third period to earn a 3-1 decision over fourth-ranked Ben Anderson of West Fargo.
“It feels great,” Werremeyer said. “I was just tired, honestly. It was a long match. I was excited, though. I mean, it felt really good to get it right at the end, I was just really excited.”
Werremeyer took fifth at state last year in the 220-pound weight class. Davies head coach Keenan Spiess said the last month of the 2018-19 season, namely the state tournament, was Werremeyer’s breakthrough.
“His IQ is really high. He knows what he has to do to be ready to wrestle as far as training and all that,” Spiess said. “He’s coachable, he’ll improve weekly. He learns his mistakes as he goes, which is rare for high schoolers.”
Since his fifth-place performance as a sophomore, Werremeyer has put on around 10 to 15 pounds of muscle. In his eyes, this year has been his best season yet.
“I think I’ve gotten in a lot better shape than I have any other year, this year,” he said. “I've gotten a lot better and more technically sound with a lot of my moves.”
Werremeyer has also spent a lot of time this season working and wrestling with one of his coaches, Chris Thiel, who played football at the University of Mary-Bismarck.
“That's gotten me a lot better, training with him,” he said.
Now a highly touted wrestler in the state, Werremeyer has remained level-headed, according to Spiess.
“He’s not an Eagle Scout, but he’s honest. Good grades, good leader,” Spiess said. “He has over a 4.0 GPA. He’s awesome. Just a real genuine person.”
Wrestling in the cardinal red and gold has become a family affair for the Werremeyers. His seventh-grade brother, Malachi, wrestles at 106, and grabbed a second-place title at the East Region tournament. Their dad, Wayne, who also coached at Fargo South in previous years, is an assistant wrestling and football coach for Davies, where he also teaches.
“We have a lot of fun,” Werremeyer said. “He's (his dad) not really around practice much, but it's nice to see him on the bus and seeing him around school. It’s nice to see my dad every once in awhile.”
Top-seeded Werremeyer faces unranked Keaton Erhardt of Bismarck Legacy (8-22) in the opening round of the Class A individual tournament.
“I'm really excited. I know it’ll be tough," he said. "State is always a grind, you get a lot of matches, but I'm just hoping I can go out there and empty the tank because it’s all we got left and hopefully I come out on top."
On the dual side, Davies enters the state tournament as the No. 3 seed from the East and will face second-seeded Minot in the quarterfinals.
“The team, we started out the season a little slow, but we've picked it up lately and we won a good amount of duals,” Werremeyer said.
Davies has punched a ticket to state every year since the school opened. The Eagles are heading into the upcoming tournament shooting to build on their highest state finish in school history, fifth place.
“The West is pretty dominant,” Spiess said. “I just want the kids to try to reach their potential.”