by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Mitch Beaudry’s junior year in Elk River football and wrestling was not at all what he had hoped, but this brawny 5-foot-8 athlete redoubled his efforts and his resolve and has filled his senior year with what will be great memories.
After the 0-9 football season in 2010 following a spate of pre-season suspensions to seniors, Beaudry didn’t have the breakout year he anticipated in his third wrestling season.
But the Elk football team roared to life last fall with a 4-0 start and a 6-3 final record, and Beaudry at left guard was one of the important cogs in their rampaging ground game. He made all-conference in football and has a good shot in wrestling, too.
This winter, Beaudry blossomed into a steady winner on the mat a 27-10 record pin heading into this weekend’s Section 7AAA tournament at Elk River. Since dropping to 182 pounds he’s been 8-2 at that weight.
Coach Paul Nelson detected that Beaudry had “struggled with his confidence” a bit his junior year after the rough football season, but has made a complete about-face this year. After posting a 28-36 record first three years, most against older kids at the higher weights, he’s one of the team’s few steady winners this year.
“Mitch is really a horse,” said Nelson. “He is a pretty quiet kid, but he always goes all-out. A really hard worker. And he is peaking at the right time.”
Regarding Beaudry’s techniques, the coach said, “For takedowns, he gets a lot of sweep single-legs for takedowns. For pins, he has a good ‘butcher’ series, turning a guy by his arms.”
Ironically Beaudry is having his best season when the team is struggling, finishing 5-15 in duals with just three veterans in an otherwise green lineup. His first three years, the Elks were at or near the top of the conference.
Beaudry wrestled at 189 and above since ninth grade, and started his senior year at the new 190 weight slot, but intense workouts and lots of salads got him down to his lightest prep weight, 182, for one final bid at “state” this weekend.
Asked why he picked wrestling as his winter sport, Beaudry said, “My dad talked me into it. He wrestled here (ERHS), too. And there’s a lot of discipline and hard work in wrestling.”
In football, Beaudry was one of the building blocks assembled by new coach Steve Hamilton to put together a hard-charging ground game that made the Elks the comeback team of the metro area.
“Mitch was one of the keys top our success last season,” said Hamilton. “He is a tireless worker and always gives 100 percent in every drill we do. He would even stay after to perfect something; he wouldnt stop until he did it right. More importantly, he is a great student and a great person. He was a pleasure to coach.”
The highlights of his senior year so far have been the big football upset of Rogers, making all-NWSC, and his 27-win (so far) senior year on the mats. This weekend, wrestling in a big tournament at home will be a great way to cap it off. Or better yet, earn another weekend of wrestling.
THE BEAUDRY SCORECARD
Personal file – Age: 18 … Family: parents Jim and Donna; sisters Monique, 19; Mariah, 14; Marianne, 12; Melita, 10; brothers Matthew, 6, and Mags, 2 … Sports: football, wrestling … Other activities: strength and speed group… Academics: 3.0 GPA … College plans: Anoka-Ramsey
Favorite stuff -- Class: any history … TV show: “The Office” … Movie: “We Are Marshall” … Music: country, especially Jason Aldean and Toby Keith … Reading: ESPN magazine …. Drink: Gatorade red … Team: Vikings, Gopher football … Kickback: fishing