This is the year that Weston Droegemueller plans on making a splash.
The Wayzata junior has qualified for four previous wrestling state tournaments but has yet to finish among the top six.
Droegemueller, the son of Dave Droegemueller, a two-time state wrestling champion at Osseo in the 1980s, won the 138-pound championship at the Section 6, Class 3A meet Saturday. He's determined, he said, to make this trip to the state meet a memorable one.
Staff writer Jim Paulsen spoke with Droegemueller about his wrestling background and why this year will be different.
Q Why do you think you haven't been successful in past state tournaments?
A I was younger and more nervous. I was going against bigger, more well-known guys. I don't think I was mentally ready.
Q What would happen?
A I never seemed to be able to go out and do what I normally do. There were times when I was the youngest in my bracket and I would go out and freeze up.
Q What is different about this year?
A I've been training all year for this. I think I'm one of the bigger 138-pounders. I've put in the time and effort and I'm a lot stronger mentally.
Q How much does it help to have a father with such a strong wrestling background?
A It's really a pretty cool experience. Anytime I need help, he's there. I see him every day, so we can talk wrestling wherever we are. He's always giving me little tips.
Q Is it non-stop wrestling at home this time of year?
A Well, we talk about wrestling a lot, but it's not the only thing we talk about. He does a good job of playing the dad role.
Q Is it always instructional with your dad or do the two of you ever get down on the mat and actually wrestle?
A A lot of the time it's instructional, but every once in awhile we'll wrestle and have a little fun.
Q Who wins?
A He does. He's still got it. He puts his best moves on me here and there.
Q What happens if you get the upper hand?
A When I score points on him, I let him know. I rub it in his face a little. It's just a friendly little competition.
Q Talk about yourself. What is your style?
A I'm pretty aggressive. I don't like to sit in one spot. I've had quite a few parents and fans tell me how exciting my style is, but it's mostly because I'm not sitting and thinking. I'm always moving.
Q Do you think your wrestling background gives you an edge?
A Yes. I've been around the sport for awhile so I kind of know what I'm doing. I can be aggressive and put heat on the other guy and I don't have to sit around and think about what I'm doing.
Q What would be a satisfying outcome for you in this year's state meet?
A My goal is to win, so I would be pretty disappointed if I didn't. But finishing in the top four would be nice. That would make me happy.