Men of Medal

A trio of panther wrestlers fought their way to the podium at this year’s state wrestling tournament

By Per Peterson

Devin Carter vividly remembers watching Trevor Eisfeld battle his way to Tracy Area High School’s first-ever individual wrestling championship in 2020. On Saturday, Carter, a sophomore at TAHS, drew on that memory to fuel him to a second-place finish at the 2022 Minnesota Class A Individual State Wrestling Tournament.

Carter, who was joined at the podium last weekend by Ayden Horner (also second place) and Caden Johnson (third place), said leaving the mat for the final time this season with a loss was difficult, but he said his tournament experience was a good one.

“I had a great time,” he said. “It was awesome to experience being in the finals. I remember being in seventh grade, watching Trevor Eisfeld and watching the highlight reel on the big scoreboard. Me and Alex Schuh were sitting next to each other, and I said, ‘We’ll be here one day.’ I was so thrilled to be a part of it. It was just an amazing experience.”

This wasn’t Carter’s first competition under the bright lights of the Excel Energy Center, as he was a member of the Panther team that went to state in 2020. But qualifying for state as an individual, he said, is a little different.

“It’s you against the world it feels like,” he said. “You’re extremely nervous, at least I was, before every match. Talking to Ayden (Horner), he was, too, and he’s been there five times. It’s the atmosphere. But when you go out there you just have to do what you can and let that muscle memory take over, and just wrestle.”

When looking back on his season, Carter said his performance at state was likely his best all year. In his bouts leading up to his title match against Jackson County Central’s Kie Anderson, Carter was nothing short of dominant.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.