A mentor on & off the mat

PAUL CARLSON, a 2006 Tracy Area High School graduate has relished the opportunity to work with youth at Redwood Valley High School — both in the classroom and on the wrestling mat. Photo / Per Peterson

Paul Carlson has always surrounded himself with some of the best in the world of high school wrestling. Now, he’s working on building a coaching career that he hopes will put him in the same category as some of his most influential mentors.

Carlson, Tracy Area High School Class of 2006, started his coaching career at Morris Area Schools, along side Wabasso state champion Johnny Frank. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Morris, he became a volunteer coach at Blue Earth Area High School and then joined a coaching staff that included Randy Wirtjes and Hall of Fame Coach Dave Pfaffinger, who was a high school state champion in 1979.

“Those guys taught me a lot about wrestling and how to lead,” said Carlson, who is one of 22 Tracy Area High School wrestlers to have won at least 100 varsity matches (112-97).

See more in this week’s paper!