New Prague senior James Berg has won plenty of matches throughout his high school wrestling career, with one notable exception. He has yet to win the match that brings his season to an end.

Berg, who has committed to wrestle for the Gophers, has his sights set on becoming the Class 2A state champion at 138 pounds.

Berg was the state tournament runner-up in the weight class a year ago. He lost to Scott West senior Zach Siegle 6-2 in the finals.

He has won more than 100 matches over the past three seasons. Berg wrestled at 126 pounds as a sophomore.

Here is a closer look at Berg:

 

Q What is the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?

A “American Sniper.”

 

Q Three songs I never skip on my iPod are …

A … “Dirt Road” by Kip Moore; “Pirate Flag” by Kenny Chesney, and “Talladega” by Eric Church.

 

Q Three words or phrases your friends or teammates might use to describe you?

A Disciplined, focused and determined.

 

Q At my first varsity practice, I felt …

A … I had strong relationships with my teammates, so I was comfortable around those guys.

 

Q What did you work on most in the offseason?

A I train with the Pinnacle wrestling club in the offseason. I focused primarily on Greco-Roman wrestling this past offseason, and I plan on putting more emphasis on Freestyle wrestling this upcoming offseason.

 

Q What is your favorite meal before a match?

A Anything high in carbohydrates and electrolytes.

 

Q To get focused for a match, you …

A … make sure to give my heart and lungs some stress prior to competing so my body is tuned to go. A good warm-up is important to me.

 

Q You know you have an edge on an opponent when …

A … my mentality is that I’m tougher than he is.

 

Q What is your most memorable moment as a high school athlete?

A My most memorable moments have came from competing at national level events with the Minnesota Storm. Specifically, this past July when I earned All-American honors at Junior Greco-Roman Nationals.

 

Q How do you balance school and sports during the year?

A I balance academics and wrestling by staying organized and limiting distractions.

 

Q If you could change one thing about high school sports, what would it be?

A I dislike the Minnesota State High School League’s strict regulations on when athletes can work with their coaches.

 

Q Name one sport that you don’t play, that you wish you could and why?

A I love how physical the sport of hockey is. I think I would be pretty good at it.

 

Q Who is your favorite college or pro sports team and why?

A I’ve lived in Minnesota since I was born, so I have to stick with the Gophers, Twins, Wild, and Vikings through thick and thin.

 

Q What is the best sports advice you ever received?

A My club coaches, Brandon Paulson and Jared Lawrence, have given me the mind-set to accept and welcome adversity, pain and sacrifice. Paulson’s motto is to “Love the Fight” and be disciplined in all aspects of one’s life. I have taken this advice and applied it to my life.

RON HAGGSTROM