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Hall of Fame members Sam Bennyhoff and Ben Rogers, with their former coaches John Wardlow, Eric Rodelius and Todd Munsterteiger. (Submitted photo)

The Mound Westonka White Hawks Wrestling team ended the regular season with back-to-back individual tournaments. The White Hawks hosted the Leopold Haglund tournament on Friday, Feb. 7, placing seventh in a very competitive field. “We had some ranked teams and a lot of good individuals at our tourney. It was a very good tune-up for sections,” said co-head coach Todd Munsterteiger. Placing for the White Hawks were: seventh-grader Cole Munsterteiger and senior Tyler Stevenson, seventh place; sophomore Jacob Maas and senior Noah Lietzau, fourth place; senior Ryan Fitz, second place; and junior Lance Munsterteiger, first place.

The White Hawks traveled to the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted tourney on Saturday, Feb. 8 and turned in a ninth place finish. “We were down a few guys with injuries and match count, but the guys that wrestled did well,” said co-head coach Josten Coleman. Placing for the White Hawks were: Cole Munsterteiger, sixth place; senior Artie Witschorik, fourth place; juniors Owen Rostis and Lance Munsterteiger, third place; and Jacob Maas, second place.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, the White Hawks competed in the Section 5AA team tournament, winning two duals before losing to Totino Grace in the semi finals. In the preliminary round, the White Hawks defeated Minneapolis Edison 77-6. The fifth seeded White Hawks then faced the fourth seeded Fridley Tigers in the quarterfinals and emerged with a 39-36 victory. “We got some big pins and needed those bonus points, which we haven’t always been able to do,” said Todd Munsterteiger. The White Hawks fell to Totino Grace in the semi finals 52-24.

The White Hawks wrestlers will compete in the 5AA sectional individual tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Orono High School. Action begins at 10 a.m.

2 INDUCTED INTO WESTONKA HALL

Mound Westonka wrestling alumni Ben Rogers and Sam Bennyhoff were inducted into the Mound Westonka Wrestling Hall of Fame Feb. 7 before the finals at the Leopold Haglund tourney. “Both Ben and Sam were great wrestlers and even better people. It was great to reconnect with them and see how successful they have been in life,” said assistant coach Eric Rodelius.

Rogers was a 2013 graduate of Mound Westonka High School, where he compiled 90 career wins. He was a three-time section placewinner and a two-time all-conference recipient. Rogers was a 9th Grade League region champion and placed fifth in the 9th Grade state tourney. He had a phenomenal senior season, winning the Fridley Invitational, and was named to the Hibbing Duals all-tournament team while also earning the pinning award with four falls. Rogers went on to wrestle in college for the Northland Community College Pioneers in their inaugural season before a knee injury ended his collegiate career. Rogers now resides in Grand Forks, N. Dak. with his wife Kayla and son Lennon and is a full-time firefighter.

Bennyhoff was a 2015 graduate of MWHS, where he compiled 177 career victories, third all-time in Mound Westonka history. He was a five-time section champion, a four time all-conference recipient and a three-time state place winner, including a trip to the state finals his sophomore season. Bennyhoff capped off his impressive career as a student athlete with being named to the MWCA Academic All-State teams in both his junior and senior seasons. He went on to wrestle at Augsburg College, where he had a 118-28 career record, was a four-time Upper Midwest Region champion and national qualifier, including a national runner-up finish in 2018. He was also a four-time academic all-american and a senior captain of the 2019 national championship team. Bennyhoff graduated with a degree in physics and is employed as a project engineer at Open Systems International.

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