Stillwater pin-specialist Rogotzke sets stage for “Match of the Century” at State Wrestling

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Earlier this season, a national wrestling website ranked Stillwater’s Ryder Rogotzke #1 in the nation at 182 pounds and Waconia’s Max McEnelly #1 at 195 pounds.

The elite seniors are now on a collision course – if they both advance – to clash in the Class AAA individual championship at the State Meet in St. Paul this weekend.

Click the video box on this page to watch KSTP Sports’ conversation with Ryder Rogotzke about his drive to win every match via pin, and his bold decision to move up in weight class for the State Meet to face 3-time state champ Max McEnelly

Rogotzke won the Class AAA State individual wrestling title at 182 pounds last year, but decided to forgo what would likely be an easier path to a possible back-to-back title at 182 this year in order to try to avenge his only loss on the mat all season – a loss to Max McEnelly.

The two superstar wrestlers squared off earlier this season, with McEnelly earning a 5-3 decision during a mid-January dual meet between their Waconia and Stillwater squads.

It’s the only competitive loss in Rogotzke’s 46-2 season. His other loss was an injury default.

So, Rogotzke made the bold move to move up to 195 for State this year. He’s on top of one side of the bracket, 3-time State champ McEnelly is on top of the other.

McEnelly is the defending state champ at 195, having won two titles at lower weight classes each of the past two years.

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Since Rogotzke announced his move up in class, another national wrestling site now ranks both McEnelly and Rogotzke at 195 – slotting them #1 and #2 respectively in the nation.

Rogotzke’s trademark is that he doesn’t just win, he pins. His 44 pins last year as a junior matched the state’s single-season record.

Only two of Rogotzke’s completed matches this season have made it the full three rounds – his lone defeat to McEnelly and a victory by major decision.

Every other match has ended with Rogotzke’s opponent on his back – 40 pins in all, – a number that would be higher if not for several wins by forfeit.

His career record stands at 252-22 with 188 pins.

If he ends up running the table at 195, Rogotzke will match the two state titles his older brother Roman won during his high school career at Stillwater.

Ryder may also need the win to keep pace with younger sister Audrey, who is also chasing her second title at State this week. She earned last year’s state title at 120 pounds as an eighth grader, and could end up with more titles than both her older brothers combined.

The State Wrestling Meet at the Xcel Energy Center begins Thursday with team competitions. The individual Finals are on Saturday night.