Athlete of the Week - Ayden Goetzinger, Caledonia/Houston Boys Wrestling

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 11:13 PM CST
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CALEDONIA, Minn. (KTTC) – The stage was set for Ayden Goetzinger.

“In that specific moment, I just knew I kind of had to get it done,” Goetzinger said.

Down two points with just two matches to go against Chatfield in the Section 1A Team tournament, points were crucial for Caledonia.

“If he loses you’re still within a pin and if it goes major decision or worse than that dual’s locked up for Chatfield and Kail Schott is a dangerous, dangerous wrestler,” Shay Mahoney, Caledonia Head Wrestling Coach said.

Kail Schott is ranked second at 182 pounds, Goetzinger second at 195 so, it’s only right that the match went to triple overtime between these two talents.

“I knew there was no time left really so I had to get something done. I’m a senior so you know it’s my last chance to go to team state,” Goetzinger said.

He made the most of his change scoring a reversal to get the win and give Caledonia the lead helping the Warriors to their first state tournament since 2016.

“It was awesome, unexplainable really, never felt nothing like that in a wrestling match or an arena like that.”

“For not only Ayden to survive, but to gut it out and to win that match you know it’s a big deal it helped his teammates and our community,” Mahoney said.

The match also showed just how far Ayden has come since his wrestling career began.

“Couple of years ago I was really bad. Then coming through the wrestling room put in a lot of hard work you know just keep showing up every day,” Goetzinger said.

That work has turned him into a top talent, but his accomplishments go beyond the mat his coach credits Ayden and the seniors for bringing back energy the program lost through the pandemic.

“Brought these fans into our gym with their hard work and that Dover duel that was so packed that’s why the little kids were on the floor cause there wasn’t room in the stands and they did that,” Mahoney said.

Now the goal is to bring back hardware too.

“It would mean the world, especially a team state title cause you know you’re there with all your buddies all the people you grew up with so a team state title would be amazing,” Goetzinger said.