Flyers Massmann a man of his word
There is no hiding Mathew Massmann’s goals.
The senior for the Little Falls Flyers Nordic ski team writes them down. Then he tells one person and that one person, along with himself, has to hold him accountable.
Massmann has been accountable all season, but he still has work to do.
“It started as a little kid in that you always have dreams of what you want to do when you grow up,” said Massmann. “I started writing them down in sixth grade as part of school. Then in seventh grade I knew what I wanted more than anything and that was to be a very well-looked at varsity athlete.
“If you have a purpose then you write it down. In my room, I’ll write down my goals for the year. Stuff like that. That way you see it every day. You don’t need to tell everyone, but I do tell one other person my goals so they know what I’m going to accomplish.”
One of Massmann’s goals was to beat St. Cloud Tech’s Cory Rouw. He’s got one more meet left to do that. He accomplished his other goals in the last two weeks.
“Matt has got an ability to focus and set goals for himself,” said Flyers head coach Terry Wasland. “He writes them down so that’s the biggest thing for Matt. He knows what he wants to do. He never has any excuses. If he doesn’t ski as well as he would have liked, he is harder on himself than anyone.
“He expects a lot of himself. He sets the tone for the rest of the squad. I really appreciate his honest and courageous leadership.”
Massmann captured the sprint title and followed it with a victory in the 5K skate race to lead the Little Falls boys team to a Granite Ridge Conference title Jan. 30.
The senior skied an 18:18 time to beat out teammate and second-place finisher Gunner Kleinschmidt in the skate race.
“When you go to a championship race it’s always a bigger event,” said Massmann. “Last year, we lost to Mora by, I believe, one point. We knew we had to throttle them as bad as we possibility could. We all battled hard and after winning the sprint title that took most of the pressure off. That was the main event I had to work hard to win.”
He carried over the conference momentum into the Section 8 meet where he finished sixth with a pursuit time of 31:41 to advance to his second state meet appearance. Massmann will be joined by teammates Hunter Zupko, who placed eighth, and John Gottwalt (ninth) at state.
Massmann called the section meet a bittersweet moment, however. While advancing as an individual, the Flyers team finished second by one point to St. Cloud Tech.
“I was happy I made it as an individual, but right after you finish the race you wonder,” said Massmann. “During the race as you’re skiing you just know you’re giving it everything. But then when you get the results, I know I could have picked up that one extra spot. I just needed to pass one more person to make it.
“I took it really hard because I got passed by two people in the last 800 meters of the race. (Wasland) pulled me aside and just told me to not let it wear on me.”
Said Wasland: “Matt has been a great leader. He’s the spiritual leader of the boys team. He’s the guy at practice that gets everyone to work hard. He’s just a wonderful young man to have on the squad. You know he’s going to give his best when he’s racing and at practice. He’s had a real fine year.
“He was very disappointed when his team didn’t make it to state. He wanted nothing more than the whole team to advance.”
At last year’s state meet, Massmann finished with a 103rd-place time of 35:15.4. This year he’s going for broke.
“Last year was my first year so it was kind of just have fun and live in the moment,” said Massmann. “This year, I feel I can race to a top 40 finish, but what I really want to have happen is finish the race, turn around and see my teammates Hunter Zupko and John Gottwalt right behind me.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Marcos Gomez, Verndale, scored 26 points against Bertha-Hewitt.
Seth Auger, Staples-Motley, finished with 23 points against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Dylan Dumpprope, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 21 points against Staples-Motley.
Nathan Ehnstrom, Aitkin, finished with 23 points against Isle.
CJ Borleis, Pequot Lakes, scored 22 points against Park Rapids.
Wrestling: Dillon Card and Dalton Baker, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, each finished 2-0 to place first at the Osakis tournament.
Gage Brown, Alex Erpelding and Drew Peterson, Staples-Motley, each finished 3-0 to claim individual titles at the Walker-Hackensack-Akele