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Warriors Athlete of Week: Wrestler has goals beyond 100 wins

Brainerd’s Cole Kubesh wrestles Spencer Miller of Staples-Motley Saturday during the Paul Bunyan Wrestling Tournament 120-pound championship round. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch

If all goes well, by the end of this week Cole Kubesh will be a member of an exclusive Brainerd club.

With one win at Friday's triangular at Foley, Kubesh would become only the 14th wrestler in the 72-year history of the Brainerd Warrior program to win 100 matches. He enters the triangular with 99 career wins.

"Hopefully I get the 100th on the first match and the 101st on the second," he said. "It's another milestone in a career. It's a good feeling."

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Cole Kubesh

  • Sport: Wrestling
  • Weight class: 120
  • Year: Senior
  • Age: 17
  • Height: 5-8
  • Career highlight: Wrestling in 2016 Class 3A state tournament
  • Other sports: Baseball
  • Favorite class: Creative Foods
  • Favorite food: Pasta
  • Favorite movie: "Miracle"
  • TV favorites: Big Ten Network & "ESPN SportsCenter"
  • Hobbies: Wrestling, working out
  • Future plans: Possibly attend Concordia College in Moorhead, pursue career in teaching health, hopes to wrestle for Cobbers
  • Favorite wrestlers: Jake Deitchler, Kasey Gillis, Jake Clark
  • Parents: Jason & Rebecca Kubesh

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Kubesh is 8-0 this season, including titles at 126 pounds in the Dick Maher Invite at Blue Earth and in Brainerd's Paul Bunyan Invite last weekend. He has won the Blue Earth event four times, the Bunyan three times and has been voted Brainerd's hardest-working wrestler three times.

He finished 32-8 as a freshman, 30-7 as a sophomore and 29-10 as a junior.

Warriors co-head coach Mike Boran believes Kubesh is one of the top competitors he has coached in his 19 years involved with the program.

"He's got some goals beyond just 100 wins and winning the Paul Bunyan three times," Boran said. "He wants to get back to the state tournament and work at placing there."

In the Class 3A state tournament last winter, Kubesh won one of three matches and did not place. As a sophomore and freshman in the Section 8-3A tournament, he narrowly missed going to state, twice losing section final matches and then losing true second-place matches.

"That will definitely leave a mark on you," Kubesh said.

What will it take to place at state?

"Definitely keep working hard, on and off the mat, picking up where I left off," he said. "I'm tweaking a little bit of things I noticed in previous matches especially at state and sections."

In the Bunyan, Kubesh pinned Aitkin's Jack Gravelle in 5:30, decisioned Foley's Ryan Dunlap 8-1 and scored a 16-6 major decision over Staples-Motley's Spencer Miller for this title.

Kubesh is already in another select group—one of few Warriors who have won three Bunyan titles, let alone two or even one.

"I hope to continue the streaks with other tournaments as well," he said.

Boran said winning three Bunyan titles is an accomplishment.

"Even our 2-time state champion (Andy Pickar) never won that tournament," Boran said.

At Blue Earth, Kubesh pinned Zach Voegele in 49 seconds, decisioned Nick Baeir of 15-11 and defeated Jordan Wolter 6-2 in the final.

"The second match wasn't necessarily tough," Kubesh said. "It was more of getting back into (wrestling). I wasn't quite in condition as much yet. The championship match it was just taking what he gave me and rolling with it."

Boran said Kubesh has pretty much dominated whatever weight class he's wrestled at in the Blue Earth tournament.

"It was no different this year," Boran said. "He pretty much handled everyone. He got a good start to the season."

Boran calls Kubesh a "grinder," a wrestler who may not have the smoothest technique.

"But he wears people down because of his conditioning and how physical he wrestles," Boran said. "I think in the Paul Bunyan finals, that was a big factor. He was grinding that guy. They get tired, he starts scoring points."

Boran said Kubesh is everything the Warriors want in a captain.

"He comes across well, he's a good leader, he pushes other kids in the room," Boran said. "He represents Brainerd well."

Other notable efforts:

• Abby Pohlkamp, girls hockey, scored hat tricks vs. Willmar and Crookston.

• Chad Orsburn, wrestling, won titles at the Paul Bunyan and Blue Earth invites.

• Cheyenne Abear, girls hockey, had a hat trick and two assists vs. Crookston.

• Olivia King, girls hockey, shut out Willmar and River Lakes.

• Michael Russell, boys basketball, scored 26 points vs. St. Michael-Albertville and 25 vs. Sartell.

• Andy Schlosser, wrestling, won a title at the Blue Earth Invite.

• Millie Klefsaas, gymnastics, won three events and the all-around title vs. Bemidji and won four events and the all-around vs. Alexandria.

• Kylee Heurung, girls basketball, scored 20 points and grabbed 22 rebounds vs. Sartell and scored 29 points vs. Monticello, 24 vs. Fergus Falls and 26 vs. St. Francis.

• Cara Helgeson, girls basketball, scored 15 points and hauled down 15 rebounds vs. Sartell.

• Wyatt Andres, boys hockey, scored four goals vs. Willmar.

• Ally Smith, girls hockey, notched a hat trick vs. Fergus Falls.

• Preston Owen, Michael Bylander and Gunnar Niemeyer, swimming, won two events and were on two winning relays vs. Sauk Rapids.

Brainerd Warriors 100-win club

1. Andy Pickar 146-25

2. Andy Schlosser 134-56

3. Tyler Jensen 132-24

* 4. Chris Studer 132-25

5. Nick Lingwall 123-43

6. Tom Zelinske 118-55

7. Jim Caughey 111-23-2

* 8. Kyle Dukowitz 111-42

9. Jake Patnode 110-57

10. Chad Ohman 109-61

11. Luke Boran 107-46

12. Ryan Smith 101-22

13. Matt Ostrowski 100-37-4

(*won matches while attending other schools)