Nov. 21, 2011
The third-ranked Minnesota wrestling team has announced that Sam Brancale, Jarod Donar, Brandon Kingsley, Michael Kroells, Brett Pfarr, Dakota Trom and Cody Phillips have all signed National Letters of Intent to wrestle for Minnesota next season.
"We have a great group of kids coming in," said Head Coach J Robinson. "These are very hardnosed student-athletes who love to wrestle, who are hard workers and are dedicated to the sport. We are very excited about this class."
Brancale is from Eden Prarie, Minn., and recently won the 132 lb. division at the InterMat JJ Classic. He currently holds a career record of 54 wins and 14 losses. Brancale has 23 wins by fall and 12 coming from tech fall.
Donar, who hails from Cuba City, WI is a three-time state champion from the state of Wisconsin and is undefeated. He won the title at 119 lbs. his freshman season and went 49-0, with 28 pins and recorded 78 takedowns. In his sophomore year he won the state title at 125 lbs. and recorded 23 pins after finishing 48-0. This past spring he competed at 135 lbs. and went 46-0.
Kingsley was crowned the 152 lbs. division champion at the InterMat JJ Classic last month. He is a three-time Minnesota state wrestling champion out Apple Valley, Minn. and won the 140-pound Class 3A championship last year as a junior after winning at 135 pounds as a sophomore and 125 as a freshman. Apple Valley High School native is the younger brother of current Minnesota freshman Jordan Kingsley.
Kroells, like Brancale and Kingsley won the InterMat JJ Classic, but at 285 lbs. He won the 215 pound Class 2A state title last March as a junior. He is also a three-time state place winner. He was runner-up at 189 pounds as a sophomore and sixth at 189 pounds as a freshman. Kroells was a USA Wrestling Cadet Folkstyle National Champion in 2010. Kroells was The Guillotine's top 2011 Academic All-State wrestler with a perfect 47-0 season record, and a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Pfarr, is a three-time Minnesota state tournament finalist. He finished second at 140 lbs. in 2010. Pfarr took fourth at the NHSCA National tournament in Virginia Beach in 2010 in the sophomore division. In 2009 he placed sixth state high school tournament.
Phillps, who is from Liberty, Ind., won state championships his freshman and sophomore seasons, both at 103 pounds. He was third at last year's state meet at 112 pounds.
Trom is a three-time state champion for Apple Valley. He won the 125-pound Class AAA state championship last season as a junior, the 119 pounds title as a sophomore and the 112 pound title as a freshman. Trom was a USA Wrestling Cadet National freestyle runner-up in 2010.
Highlights: Cliff Keen Invitational
As a team and on an individual basis, the Gophers posted strong results against some of the nation’s best during the two-day tournament in Las Vegas
Gophers Take Fourth in Las Vegas
Jake Short and Brett Pfarr won individual titles, helping to power Minnesota to a top-five finish in the Cliff Keen Invitational for the third straight season
Gophers Win Two Titles at UNI Open
Ethan Lizak and Tommy Thorn won the 125- and 141-pound titles, respectively, leading a group of 10 Gopher placewinners in Cedar Falls