Wrestling: Ryther leaving Spectrum; new coach named

by Bruce Strand, Sports Editor

Sean Ryther, who started the Spectrum wrestling program four years ago and had a trio of state qualifiers this year, has resigned from the Elk River charter school, with plans to move to South Korea.

“The Lord has told me to get out of my comfort zone,” said Ryther, who will teach physical education at a high school there and be involved in Christian ministries as well.

Sean and Katie Ryther have a one-year-old daughter, Braelyn. Katie, a speech pathologist, will be a substitute teacher.

Sean Ryther
Sean Ryther

Ryther, who wrestled for Anoka High School, was an assistant coach for three years when Spectrum attached to Meadow Creek Christian, then became head coach when the Sting started their own team.

The first year, they filled only five slots in the lineup. This year, they had about 35 kids in the room and posted an 11-8 dual meet record. Three sophomores qualified for state: Esteban Teigen, who placed fourth, along with Luke Nolden and Ryan Killeen.

Rick Peterson, Spectrum activities director, credited Ryther’s “enthusiasm and winsome nature” for the progress the program has made. Ryther was chosen by students to give a faculty address at commencement this year.

“Spectrum was a very good experience,” said Ryther, “and I will miss the relationships we made through Spectrum, church and the YMCA.”

New coach named
Travis Aufderheide, who’s been a varsity assistant in three sports in Blair, Nebraska, for four years, will be the Sting’s new wrestling coach, Peterson said.

Aufderheide wrestled and played football at New Ulm High School. He coached those sports plus track in Nebraska. He will be a P.E. teacher and assistant football coach at Spectrum.

Aufderheide said he’s “very excited” to take over a program that has made such good progress. He is already holding Monday meetings with the Sting, with plans to attend a team camp at Minnesota-Morris.