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WARRIORS ATHLETE OF WEEK: This Adams' role is winning wrestling matches

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According to Wikipedia, Sam Adams was an American patriot famous for his role in the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party.

Brainerd’s Sam Adams may have no connection to the patriot bearing the same name but he is making a name for himself in his role as a Warriors wrestler.

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The Warrior junior won the 220-pound championship last weekend in the Dick Maher Invite at Blue Earth, pinning all three of his opponents.

“Pins are a big specialty of mine,” he said. “I think pinning is the most important part of winning, more important than winning by points — It is to me anyway.

“I’ve got a lot of upper body strength. I can get out pretty quick if I’m on the bottom. If I get a chance, I like to keep them down and work other moves to get them on their back. I try to do everything I can to do that.”

In the quarterfinals, he pinned John Marker of Jackson County Central in 4:47. He pinned Joe Pavelko of Worthington in 3:42 in the semifinals. In the finals, Adams stapled Luis Figueroa of Fairmont-Martin County West in 2:21.

“They were all pretty good wrestlers, but I don’t think they had as much skill as I did,” Adams said. “I think you have to have more skill than strength. I think skill is more of an advantage.”

Warriors co-head coach Jim Kath said Adams is a talented, athletic wrestler.

“Given his size, he moves really well,” Kath said. “He had a nice start to the season. I think it was a decent tournament down there. We have the Paul Bunyan Tournament this weekend, which is definitely a higher-quality tournament, but it was a great way to start the season regardless. Sam wrestled well.”

The three-year varsity wrestler finished third at 220 in the Section 8-3A tournament last season, missing a trip to state by one place.

“Sam had a good end to the season, especially in the section tournament,” Warriors co-head coach Mike Boran said. “He was third in the section so he came into this season with a lot of confidence.

“You never know going into a tournament, but Sam wrestled really well (at Blue Earth). ... He went in as the No. 1 seed, and obviously he was the No. 1 wrestler at that weight class. He looked good. He’s gotten better every year we’ve had him. He continues to work hard. He’s a good kid, and good for him last weekend.”

Other notable efforts:

• Kyle Helmberger, boys hockey, stopped 42 of 43 shots against Fergus Falls.

MIKE BIALKA, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.

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