Jake and Kyle Begin are once again reunited on the wrestling mat. Instead of competing for the white and maroon at Anoka the two brothers wrestle for Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
Jake, a junior at 165 pounds, was named NSIC Wrestler of the Week Feb. 4 after winning his 11th and 12th consecutive matches of the season even though the team lost both duals against Upper Iowa and Minnesota State, Mankato Feb. 1-2. Jacob defeated No. 4 Wabe Gobin (Upper Iowa) and No. 3 Cody Quinn (Minnesota State) to give him five pins, three major decisions and one technincal fall. He also earned a Wrestler of the Week honor last season. Jacob, a 2009 Anoka graduate, was a five-time wrestling letter winner and won a state title at 152 pounds as a senior in addition to two state runner-up finishes.
Kyle is a freshman wrestling at 174 pounds. He won a state title as a senior at 170 pounds in a thrilling 4-2 overtime win against Albert Lea’s Trey Hable.
What has it been like to wrestle once again on the same team and how different are the training sessions between high school and college?
Jacob: “I am really happy that Kyle decided to come to Southwest [Minnesota State University] with me and wrestle. I think that Kyle looked up to me in high school and I didn’t really realize it until college. Now that he has followed me here, I would like to help him to be the best that he can. He has so many opportunities and I feel that I can push him not because I am a great wrestler, but because he has so much talent and potential. I believe I can show him how to use his talent to the fullest because it is my goal every day to work harder than anyone in our room. College is much more difficult because everyone you wrestle is out there to win you don’t just have someone filling a spot.”
Kyle: “Wrestling with my brother on the same team again is really awesome because we get to share something we both love to do. The [college] training sessions go up to a whole new level of intensity. When going from high school to college workouts, I feel you actually work harder and you push yourself more.”
Do you two wrestle against each other during practice and if so, who typically wins? If not, do you help each other out at practices (spotting on the weights or position/strategy on the mat)?
Jacob: “We wrestle all the time because we are so close in weight and the fact that we flow when we wrestle. There is a good grove and I think that our technique is similar in ways and different in others that we make one and another better. There is also the rivalry in the fact that we are brothers and neither one of us ever wants to lose – ever. So, when we do wrestle, it gets more intense than when I wrestle with the other guys in practice. I think at the beginning of the year I was beating Kyle, but now that Kyle is back in shape – we go back and forth.”
Kyle: “We do wrestle together in practice quite often sometimes. When it comes to winning, he typically beats on me because his drive is like no other, but I do have my days where I show him I’m really not too far behind. We don’t really help each other out by showing each other moves, but we give each other pointers.”
What has been the toughest part of being on the same team with your brother?
Jacob: “Hands down the toughest part of being on the same team is knowing how to push him, because I want to be like a coach to him, but I am his brother and teammate. I have to let him make his own decisions and even though from experience I know it’s not the right decision, I have to let him be his own person.”
Kyle: “I would have to say the toughest part of being on the same team with my brother would have to be watching him wrestle. When he wrestles I get nervous sometimes because I worry about the scrambles he gets into, even though I know he can handle himself in a scrambling position.”
Biggest win of the season so far and what made that win special?
Jacob: “So far this season this last weekend beating the Upper Iowa guy [No. 4 Wade Gobin] and the Mankato guy [No. 3 Cody Quinn], I don’t really look at rankings because my coach in high school said that they don’t matter. You wrestle the opponent across from you not his rank.”
Kyle: “I haven’t had the big win I am looking for yet, but hopefully, I will be able to pull it off in the season that I have left.”
Jason Olson is at firstname.lastname@example.org