DENMARK – Brock Bergelin is one of the best wrestlers in the state.
The Denmark senior ranks among the most unique ones as well.
At first glance, the two-time WIAA Division 2 state champion is like most of his peers with a vast amount of his matches posted online.
But opponents looking to study up on the Central Michigan University recruit are just as likely to find videos of him preparing his favorite dishes as they are of him making takedowns.
Bergelin enjoys cooking and wants to pursue a career as a dietitian.
“It’s always really fascinated me,” Bergelin said about nutrition. “I started a YouTube channel. I do a little bit of cooking, and I do nutrition discussions because I research it a ton. I’ve got a pretty good basis on everything.”
Wrestlers have long been associated with a negative stereotype of bypassing meals during the season in order to make weight.
But in reality, wrestlers are some of the most knowledgeable athletes when it comes to being aware of what a healthy diet entails.
Bergelin just goes a step further by showcasing that in his video series, which has featured him giving a tutorial on steaming vegetables and providing instructions on how to make protein doughnuts.
“He is kind of a health nut,” Denmark coach Tim Kapinos said. “It’s great to see. It’s actually what I hope wrestling is kind of going towards. We have a pretty negative outlook on us that it’s about starving and cutting weight and things of that nature.
“We should be focusing on nutrition and long-term nutrition, like when they’re well past wrestling and competing. We’re eating the right things and eating a balanced diet, so I’m certainly hoping something like that catches on with the other kids in our room.”
Denmark’s wrestling room possesses all the ingredients of a team on the rise.
The Vikings have five wrestlers listed in WIWrestling.com’s Division 2 state rankings, including Bergelin (120 pounds), senior Dustin Dworak (160), senior Max Schmitz (170), freshman Gabe Wertel (195) and junior Josh Frerk (285).
The team also has three other underclassmen that have won at least 65 percent of their matches in freshmen Jack Schmitz (106) and Cole Tenor (113) and sophomore T.J. Weidman (220).
Bergelin and Frerk are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in their weight classes. The pair ended a four-year drought for the program without a state qualifier in 2015 when they both advanced to the Kohl Center in Madison.
Frerk is aiming to get back to state this year after missing out on a return trip last season.
“It just made me come back and work harder than last year to get back,” said Frerk, who is 28-3 this year.
Denmark went 6-3 in North Eastern Conference duals this season, an impressive feat considering five teams in the conference are ranked in the top 10 of Division 2 by WIWrestling.com. The Vikings, ranked No. 8, are hoping to parlay their success into sending a record number of individuals to state after tying a program best with three last season.
“We had freshmen fill in like crazy,” Bergelin said about the team’s lineup. “We had people filling in all around. I feel like we’ve established the fact that we’re going to be a pretty solid program at this point. I really do think the only way is up from here.”
Bergelin has been on an upward trend since coming down with pneumonia earlier in the season.
Despite having his conditioning take a hit, Bergelin (28-1) has compiled another impressive record in breaking a school record for career wins and recording his 150th career win in placing first on Saturday at the Pulaski Invite.
Denmark had only three state champions in its history prior to Bergelin’s arrival. He has a chance to leave the program doubling that total should he win a third straight title.
“He certainly has a presence,” Kapinos said. “Obviously, with his success here in the last couple of years it certainly helps us in promoting the sport and promoting our program.
“I think the younger guys, the youth and middle school wrestlers, see that and are able to push towards being successful at the high school level, too.”
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