ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – ZACH BROWN AND LUKAS MEIER (February 27, 2019)

The KROX/Drafts Sports Bar and Grill Athletes of the week are state-bound Zach Brown, a Sophomore, and Lukas Meier, a senior, on the Crookston Pirate Wrestling team.

Zach Brown
Zach is ranked #2 in the state at 113 pounds and. Zach is wrapping up a great season with a record of 36 wins and 1 loss and another Section 8A Individual championship for a trip to state.  At state, he received the fifth seed and will wrestle Brady Holien, a freshman from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City on Friday morning.
Zach had a great year with first-place finishes at the Wahpeton, Thief River Falls, Rodd Olson Invitational, Skip Nalan, and the Northwest Invitational tournaments. He was runner-up at the Big Bear tournament in Cass Lake.  With the two wins at the Section tournament, he has 99 career victories and will look to get the 100th win of his career at state.  “Zach has had a great season to this point and he has a lot of confidence and is wrestling really well right now,” said Coach Wes Hanson. “He is a good leader and his work ethic in the wrestling room is good and he competes at a high level.  He is a student of the sport and has a passion for wrestling and it transpires to the team.”
Zach was the section champion at 113 pounds last year as a freshman. At state, he lost his first match 11-8, bounced back to win his second match 5-4 before losing a heartbreaker 5-4 to wrap up his first state tournament appearance.  Zach finished fourth place at sections his eighth-grade year at 106 pounds and as a seventh grader he only weighed 77 pounds and wasn’t big enough to wrestle! He has 68 career wins and is one of the top-ranked wrestlers and is the favorite in Section 8A at 113 pounds.
In addition to wrestling, Brown had an outstanding fall on the football field. He was sixth on the team in defensive points and he had one fumble recovery, showing you don’t have to be big to be good at football. It sure does help to be tough and he is definitely a tough and hard-nosed kid.

Lukas Meier-
Lukas is ranked #9 in the state with his record of 19 wins and 6 losses.  He won two matches and lost to #1 ranked Gabe Mooney in the championship and finished runner-up at the Section 8A tournament for a return trip to state.  At state, he received the #6 seed and will wrestle #11 seed Isaac Denstad, a junior from Caledonia that is 33-10 on the year and the Section 2 runner-up.  Lukas missed some matches because of injuries, but he finished second place at the Wahpeton, Skip Nalan and Section tournament.  He also won all three duals at the Mahnomen-Waubun duals and was named the dual tournament Most Valuable Wrestler.  Luke has 107 career wins and will look at wrapping up a stellar career at the state tournament this weekend.  “Lukas has had a solid year for us and he would have liked to get a few more matches in, but he is ready to go in the postseason and last year he kicked it up a notch at the end of the year and finished fifth at state and he will be looking to improve on that this year,” said Coach Hanson. “In the practice room he works extremely hard and it is contagious.  He is a vocal leader and what he has done on the mat and in the practice room has been huge for our program.”
Last year, Lukas was 36-9 and finished Section 8A runner up and 5th place at state at 145 lbs. His total career record is currently 95-48. Lukas is a three-sport athlete and also competes in football and track.
In the fall, Lukas led the Pirate football team in defensive points with 145 and he led the team with seven fumble recoveries.  Lukas was named the Pirate Football defensive MVP and received the senior award.  Lukas was also named First team all-Section 8AA, Section 8AA linebacker of the year and he was named to the All-Midwest District first team.
In track, Lukas runs in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays, the 200 meters and competes in the pole vault where he will be one of the top pole vaulters in Section 8A this spring.
Lukas is a post-secondary student and was an honor roll student at Crookston High School.

First started wrestling –
Zach –
Five years old
Lukas – First grade

What do you feel is the strongest part of your game –
Zach – Takedowns
Lukas – Mental toughness

Part of your game that needs work –
Zach –
Riding
Lukas – Bottom

Toughest wrestler you’ve ever faced –
Zach –
Ashton Clark of Park Rapids
Lukas – Chandler Mooney of Roseau

Biggest thrill in your athletic career so far
Zach – Winning a match at state last year
Lukas – Making it to the state wrestling semi-finals last year

Do you have a pre-match ritual –
Zach –
Joke with friends and listen to music
Lukas – I listen to music and mentally prepare for the match

Favorite place to wrestle –
Zach –
Crookston High School gymnasium
Lukas – Crookston High School gymnasium

Favorite sport  – 
Zach – Wrestling
Lukas – Wrestling

Favorite sports team –
Zach – Minnesota Vikings
Lukas – Minnesota Vikings

Favorite athlete –
Zach –
Mark Hall (Penn State)
Lukas – Austin DeSanto (Iowa)

Last movie you’ve seen – 
Zach – Incredibles 2
Lukas – Fox Catcher

Favorite TV program –
Zach –
The Office
Lukas – Sports Center

Favorite food –
Zach –
Chicken Alfredo
Lukas – Chicken Alfredo

What music are you listening to –
Zach –
Anything
Lukas – Post Malone

Something about you that people don’t know –
Zach – I don’t like popcorn
Lukas – I was North Dakota Greco and Freestyle State runner-up losing to my cousin

Your stranded on a deserted island and you can have ANY three people with you –Zach –Lukas Meier, Coach Wes Hanson, Hunter Knutson
Lukas – Zach Brown, Hunter Knutson, Blake Fee

Plans after graduation –
Zach – Hopefully wrestle in college and get a degree
Lukas – Attend college somewhere and pursue a degree in the Engineering field

Family – 
Zach
Mom –  
Lisa (RiverView Health)
Sisters
 – Molly (19 years old)
Carly (8th grade)

Lukas –
Dad – Neil (Reit Rock)
Mom – Becky (Nurse at RiverView)
Sister – Kylee (Junior at Crookston High School)