by Bob San
SUN PRESS Newspapers
The way Maple Grove wrestling coach Troy Seubert sees it, a minor injury that sidelined his team’s junior ace Brad Osatiuk for a couple weeks could be a blessing in disguise.
“Because of his background in the sport I don’t think a little break the last month is necessarily a bad thing for his long-term season goals,” said Seubert.
For Osatiuk, the ultimate goal this season is to win a state championship. He came close last year when he took second at 106.
“I worked really hard so I was honored and very happy to place second last year at the state tournament,” Osatiuk said.
This season, he has been ranked No. 1 at 113 all year even though he was out with an injury after winning his first three matches. He returned to action two weeks ago and won all eight matches with six pins.
“Brad is one of the few kids who have built up so much mat time equity that he should be able to shake off any rust fairly quickly,” Seubert said.
Osatiuk indeed has put in lots of time on the mat. He started wrestling in the second grade and enjoyed success at every level.
“My family has been a big support to me since the beginning of my wrestling career,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have my coaches and family always there for me.”
Like most top wrestlers, Osatiuk wrestles year round.
“I wrestle freestyle and Greco in the spring/summer along with folk style during the fall/winter,” he said. “In the past off-season, I wrestled at Pinnacle, did camps, lifted weights, worked out, and was on the Minnesota Junior National Team for Fargo.”
Seubert said Osatiuk’s success is built around hard work, athletic ability and knowledge of the sport.
“Brad is always an extremely hard worker and continues to work hard even though he’s been sidelined,” Seubert said. “He’s an extremely smart and well-conditioned wrestler. He knows what he wants to do when he gets out there and he’s done it so many times it’s all second nature to him. He rarely finds himself in positions that he doesn’t want to be in. It’s a lot of fun watching Brad compete with the best kids in the state – he typically finds a way to come out on top. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season has in store for him.”
Osatiuk agrees with Seubert that taking some time off from competition because of the injury may keep him fresher for the grueling section and state tournaments.
When asked if he is seeking to move one spot up on the medal podium at this year’s state tournament, Osatiuk said. “Yes, absolutely. Being Maple Grove’s first state champion has been my goal since I was in the seventh grade.”
Contact Bob San at [email protected]