Individual State Wrestling Championships

Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Michael Majerus wrestles Sibley East’s Drayden Morton in the 106-pound Class A state individual championship match last season at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Majerus lost, 5-2, which has left him with a profound hunger entering this season.

Michael Majerus has thought about it a lot, that 5-2 loss last season to Sibley East’s Drayden Morton. 

It represented the Zumbrota-Mazeppa 106-pounder’s only setback of the year. And that it came in the Class A state finals — well, that’s what makes the memory so hard to shake.

“I know that I don’t want to feel that way again,” said Majerus, a senior. “I was disappointed in myself because I never got to my attacks. (Morton) controlled the match, and that irritates me quite a bit.”

Nine months later, the now 5-feet-4, 120-pound Majerus has a simple plan to rid himself of that painful March 2 memory.

It’s to replace it with a polar-opposite experience should he do the expected and get back to state.

The third of three talented Majerus wrestling brothers at Z-M, Michael has busily put himself in position to do just that. Brothers Nick and Joey have been part of this, too. They prod, encourage and get on the mat with little brother Michael, essentially doing what “Team Majerus” has alway done when it comes to wrestling. They do it together, with Michael the current focus.

“My brothers have been a huge part of everything I’ve accomplished so far,” said Michael, who’s been to the state individual tournament twice, landing second last year, sixth the year before that. “They’ve set the tone for everything I’ve done.”

ALL YOU CAN BE

With the 27-year-old Nick, who shares a place in Mazeppa with 22-year-old Joey, getting Michael’s mindset right has been the biggest thing.

He wants to see this youngest Majerus get the most from himself at all times, just as he was taught while serving as a Marine from 2012-2018.

“Mostly, Nick has taught me that you can never work hard enough,” said Michael, who's ranked No. 2 in Class A at 120 pounds, while the guy who beat him in last year’s state finals, Morton, is No. 1. “It’s that you can always give more. I always try to live that out in practice.”

From Joey, a 2015 Z-M graduate who reached the state individual tournament five times —finishing third in three of them — he’s learned technique.

They got on the mat together about five times this past summer, mixing it up and Joey supplying Michael with plenty of pointers. 

“Joey has come into the (wrestling) room with me a lot,” Michael said. “He also did it quite a bit last season. That helped me a lot the second half of the season. My technique got a lot better.”

Z-M 14th-year head wrestling coach Link Steffen has always known what he’s getting with the Majerus boys. Actually, he’d expand that to include the entire Majerus family, including dad Brian, a former Goodhue wrestler.

When it comes to this sport, the Majerus clan has always been “all in.”

“All three of those boys, they’ve been like Michael, hard workers and not a lot of yelling from them, not a lot of boisterous stuff,” Steffen said. “They come in and work. And the Majerus family, they’ve been such a big part of our wrestling program. The parents do so much.”

Michael has always done “so much” when it comes to wrestling. But he took that up another notch this summer. His big thing was to get stronger. So he started almost every morning in the weight room. When those lifts were done he’d head to his landscaping job, which gave him another muscle-building project. Those shift were 8-9 hours per day.

Michael says all of it has left him ready to take on a wrestling season like never before. 

He’s got big goals, wanting to get back to the state individual tournament and finish it as a champion this time. He also hopes to guide Zumbrota-Mazeppa back to the state team tournament, where it finished as a champion his freshman and sophomore years.

He’s ready.

“This is the best I’ve ever felt,” Michael said. “I feel like I’ve taken that next step.” 

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