State champ Abby Ervasti inspires Pelican Rapids youth wrestlers
Sports News | Published on March 16, 2023 at 4:08pm CDT | Author: Pelican Rapids Press0
By Rachel Ziebell,
Wrestling may be over for our high school wrestlers, but it continues for Pelican Rapids’ youth program. A very special guest attended the youth wrestling practice Monday, March 13.
State champion Abby Ervasti came to inspire, encourage, and share her experiences with the youth team. Pelican Rapids youth wrestlers look forward to using some of the techniques and takeaways Abby shared at their upcoming NYWA District Qualifier this Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Abby started wrestling when she was four years old alongside her brother Gideon. Her parents, Carol, and Jason Ervasti, always encouraged her to work hard and follow her dreams. Her love for wrestling shows in her dedication and commitment to the sport.
In a time when she was the only girl out for wrestling, she was a pioneer of sorts. She would often sit out if another boy refused to wrestle her. Yet, she persevered, making the BHVPP varsity team as a seventh grader, proving to many she was there to stay.
In 2022, one of Abby’s most memorable moments came when she and her brother Gideon (a senior at the time) earned a trip to the Excel Center for the state competition, both finishing in second place. But she’s quick to say she was ready to get over second place and set her sights on something bigger — state champion. She did just that in March 2023.
Abby returned to state competition and walked away as the state champion in the 138-pound female weight division – a huge accomplishment in Minnesota high school history as the girls only recently started sharing a state competition venue alongside the boys in 2022 as a growing number of girls came out for the sport. Abby thinks this will only continue to grow and potentially lead to dual and individual competitions being separate events.
With the kind of success Abby has had, it only makes sense that college scouts have their eyes on her. Although she has not signed any commitment, she has aspirations of pioneering collegiate wrestling for colleges not yet on board.
She will continue to wrestle in the off-season with STORM out of the cities and look at competing nationally and globally. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and it certainly showed as she worked with the boys and girls alike at practice.