SPORTS Wednesday February 6, 2013 Red Wing Republican Eagle WRESTLING WITH A HEAVY HEART Joe Brown/Republican Eagle Goodhue senior wrestler Mitchell Breuer with a photo of his brother Bryce and his father Tim. In the span of 17 months, Bryce, 8, died of leukemia, while Tim, 37, died of a brain aneurysm. In 17 months, Mitchell Breuer’s life changed with the death of his brother and father. Through it all, the Goodhue senior has persevered in his home life and on the wrestling mat By Joe Brown [email protected]itchell Breuer wres- tles two different types of matches. On the mat, he is a standout mid- dleweight for the Goodhue wrestling team, working his way up to a 114-59 record and a state berth last season as a junior in a varsity career that started in sev- enth grade. Internally, Breuer wrestles with grief, sorrow and the memo- ries of a brother and father who were gone much too soon. On Feb. 22, 2007, Bryce Breuer, 8, died of leukemia. Then nearly 18 months later, on July 19, 2008, Tim Breuer, 37, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. “I know the two forces driving him apart,” said Goodhue wrestling coach Josh Grant. “On one hand, he’s tried to funnel a lot of his grief into wrestling for his father. And then the other time, wrestling brings back so many memories, positive good memories, that it becomes a struggle.” Through the pain of loss, Mitchell had to grow up fast and become the strong presence that his mother and four younger brothers need. “(The two deaths) shaped a bunch of my personality and what I am now,” Mitchell said. “I’m more relaxed now, just calmed down, trying to keep everyone from fighting. Maybe that’s how I’ve always been.” Said Logan Breuer, Mitchell’s younger brother and a sophomore on the Goodhue wrestling team, “Mitch just seems like he’s a lot more mature, but he also knows when he can let loose and have fun. He can recognize situations better and knows how to react. “You see a lot of kids his age and they’re into bad stuff, and Mitch is really good about it. He doesn’t get as overwhelmed as other people.” M Turn to BREUER, page 3B Wingers shake off poor start in big win 1B Chris Harrell/Republican Eagle Red Wing's Ben Miller goes up for a layup Monday night against Kasson-Mantorville at Red Wing High School. The Wingers won easily, 63-41. By Chris Harrell [email protected]It took Red Wing 4 min- utes, 25 seconds to wake up Monday night against Kasson-Mantorville. The KoMets controlled the opening minutes, beating the Wingers to every loose ball and estab- lishing a 10-2 lead. With 13:35 left in the first half, Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen took a much-needed timeout. He didn’t tell the team any- thing new but the mes- sage came through clear. “I told them we’d dug ourselves a hole,” Toivo- nen said. “It was time to dig deep. We just needed to pick it up and the kids knew that.” “We just came out flat,” Red Wing senior Ryan Boldt added. After the timeout, the Wingers went on a 24-2 run to close out of the first half leading 26-12, and they led K-M by as many as 30 points in the second half en route to a 63-41 victory at home. “We made a small ad- justment trying to take dribble penetration away,” Toivonen said. “We got some transition baskets and it took some pressure off. The kids kind of re- laxed and we were able to flush the first five minutes because that wasn’t very good.” Boldt was the only player to score in double figures for either team Friday night, finishing with 11 points. Boldt did the majority of his damage during the first three min- utes of the second half, scoring seven points as the Wingers extended their lead to 35-14. Ty Buck and Jon Sevlie each finished with nine points for Red Wing (10-8) while Jack Leurquin had eight points and three as- sists. The Wingers had a 27-17 rebounding edge and garnered 13 steals in the victory. Red Wing’s balanced scoring and unselfish play was a continuation of Fri- day’s win against Chaska. The Wingers had 13 as- sists and nine players score in Monday’s game. Red Wing improves to 5-2 in section play with victory over Kasson-Mantorville Boldt tabs Legacy as adviser group Turn to SECTION WIN, page 2B By Chris Harrell [email protected]Another step on Ryan Boldt’s road to the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Amateur Draft is complete. The Red Wing High School senior recently chose his adviser group, the Legacy Agency, headed by Executive Director and President Greg Genske. Because of NCAA rules, Boldt and his family cannot sign a contract with the Legacy Agency and can only receive advice leading up to the draft. An adviser’s job is to prepare a player for the draft without impacting his college eligibility. “Our personalities just fit,” Boldt said of Genske and his associates. “They get you the right informa- tion. They tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.” For a fam- ily new to the process, Boldt said he didn’t even know about advis- ers until last sum- mer, The Legacy Agency will help prepare Boldt for college or the minor leagues. “It’s just that, it’s pro- viding advice,” Genske said, “making sure he has all the information at his disposal so that he may conduct himself appropri- ately and make the best decisions for himself when the time comes.” Ryan, a 4.0 student at Red Wing High School, signed a national letter of intent to play baseball for the University of Ne- braska, Lincoln, and the scholarship includes an opportunity to play for Cornhuskers head coach Darin Erstad. “We’ve received nothing but outstanding reports about what an excellent player he is,” Genske said. “I’ve heard from a lot of scouts comparing him to Darin Erstad, who was my client during his playing career . ... Once we had a chance to meet with Ryan and his family, we thought we’d be a good fit.” Boldt’s academic prowess creates obvious leverage come June, but Ryan said he is excited to attend Nebraska and look- ing forward to the draft. The Legacy Agency, con- sidered one of the top sports agencies, has a clientele of more than 130 Major and Minor Lea- guers, including Jose Reyes, Johan Santana and CC Sabathia. While the Legacy Agency consists of many clients, those clients are at different stages of their careers, allowing different timing for the work each player needs, Genske said. Boldt said Genske con- tacts him about once a week to build the relation- ship. As the draft nears, Ryan said he looks for- ward to the advice Genske can provide. “It’s still just kind of small talk because we’re trying to get to know each other,” Boldt said. “Going into the high school sea- son, it’ll probably amp up a little bit and we’ll talk about more specifics. … They’re going to have to help me out with a lot of stuff, getting me ready for the mental side of how everything’s going to go with college or the pro level.” Boldt
itchell Breuer wres-tles two differenttypes of matches.
On the mat, he isa standout mid-
dleweight for the Goodhuewrestling team, working his wayup to a 114-59 record and a stateberth last season as a junior in avarsity career that started in sev-enth grade. Internally, Breuer wrestles
with grief, sorrow and the memo-ries of a brother and father whowere gone much too soon. On Feb.22, 2007, Bryce Breuer, 8, died ofleukemia. Then nearly 18 monthslater, on July 19, 2008, TimBreuer, 37, died suddenly from abrain aneurysm. “I know the two forces drivinghim apart,” said Goodhuewrestling coach Josh Grant. “Onone hand, he’s tried to funnel alot of his grief into wrestling forhis father. And then the othertime, wrestling brings back so
many memories, positive goodmemories, that it becomes astruggle.” Through the pain of loss,Mitchell had to grow up fast andbecome the strong presence thathis mother and four youngerbrothers need. “(The two deaths) shaped abunch of my personality andwhat I am now,” Mitchell said.“I’m more relaxed now, justcalmed down, trying to keepeveryone from fighting. Maybethat’s how I’ve always been.”
Said Logan Breuer, Mitchell’syounger brother and a sophomoreon the Goodhue wrestling team,“Mitch just seems like he’s a lotmore mature, but he also knowswhen he can let loose and havefun. He can recognize situationsbetter and knows how to react. “You see a lot of kids his ageand they’re into bad stuff, andMitch is really good about it. Hedoesn’t get as overwhelmed asother people.”
MTurn to BREUER, page 3B
Wingers shake off poor start in big win
Chris Harrell/Republican EagleRed Wing's Ben Miller goes up for a layup Monday night against Kasson-Mantorvilleat Red Wing High School. The Wingers won easily, 63-41.
It took Red Wing 4 min-utes, 25 seconds to wakeup Monday night againstKasson-Mantorville. The KoMets controlledthe opening minutes,beating the Wingers toevery loose ball and estab-lishing a 10-2 lead. With13:35 left in the first half,Red Wing head coachDoug Toivonen took amuch-needed timeout. Hedidn’t tell the team any-thing new but the mes-sage came through clear. “I told them we’d dugourselves a hole,” Toivo-nen said. “It was time todig deep. We just neededto pick it up and the kidsknew that.” “We just came out flat,”Red Wing senior RyanBoldt added. After the timeout, theWingers went on a 24-2run to close out of the firsthalf leading 26-12, andthey led K-M by as manyas 30 points in the secondhalf en route to a 63-41victory at home. “We made a small ad-justment trying to take
dribble penetration away,”Toivonen said. “We gotsome transition basketsand it took some pressureoff. The kids kind of re-laxed and we were able toflush the first five minutesbecause that wasn’t verygood.” Boldt was the onlyplayer to score in doublefigures for either teamFriday night, finishingwith 11 points. Boldt didthe majority of his damageduring the first three min-utes of the second half,scoring seven points asthe Wingers extendedtheir lead to 35-14. Ty Buck and Jon Sevlieeach finished with ninepoints for Red Wing (10-8)while Jack Leurquin hadeight points and three as-sists. The Wingers had a27-17 rebounding edgeand garnered 13 steals inthe victory. Red Wing’s balancedscoring and unselfish playwas a continuation of Fri-day’s win against Chaska.The Wingers had 13 as-sists and nine playersscore in Monday’s game.
Red Wing improves to 5-2 in section playwith victory over Kasson-Mantorville
Another step on RyanBoldt’s road to the 2013Major League BaseballFirst-Year Amateur Draftis complete. The Red Wing HighSchool senior recentlychose his adviser group,the Legacy Agency, headedby Executive Director andPresident Greg Genske. Because of NCAA rules,Boldt and his family cannotsign a contract with theLegacy Agency and canonly receive advice leadingup to the draft. An adviser’sjob is to prepare a player forthe draft without impactinghis college eligibility. “Our personalities justfit,” Boldt said of Genskeand his associates. “Theyget you the right informa-tion. They tell you whatyou need to hear, not whatyou want to hear.”
For a fam-ily new tothe process,Boldt saidhe didn’teven knowabout advis-ers untillast sum-mer, TheL e g a c y
Agency will help prepareBoldt for college or theminor leagues. “It’s just that, it’s pro-viding advice,” Genskesaid, “making sure he hasall the information at hisdisposal so that he mayconduct himself appropri-ately and make the bestdecisions for himself whenthe time comes.” Ryan, a 4.0 student atRed Wing High School,signed a national letter ofintent to play baseball forthe University of Ne-braska, Lincoln, and thescholarship includes anopportunity to play forCornhuskers head coachDarin Erstad. “We’ve received nothingbut outstanding reportsabout what an excellentplayer he is,” Genske said.“I’ve heard from a lot ofscouts comparing him toDarin Erstad, who was myclient during his playingcareer. ... Once we had achance to meet with Ryanand his family, we thoughtwe’d be a good fit.” Boldt’s academicprowess creates obviousleverage come June, butRyan said he is excited toattend Nebraska and look-ing forward to the draft. The Legacy Agency, con-sidered one of the topsports agencies, has aclientele of more than 130Major and Minor Lea-guers, including JoseReyes, Johan Santanaand CC Sabathia. While the LegacyAgency consists of manyclients, those clients are atdifferent stages of theircareers, allowing differenttiming for the work eachplayer needs, Genske said. Boldt said Genske con-tacts him about once aweek to build the relation-ship. As the draft nears,Ryan said he looks for-ward to the advice Genskecan provide. “It’s still just kind ofsmall talk because we’retrying to get to know eachother,” Boldt said. “Goinginto the high school sea-son, it’ll probably amp upa little bit and we’ll talkabout more specifics. …They’re going to have tohelp me out with a lot ofstuff, getting me ready forthe mental side of howeverything’s going to gowith college or the prolevel.”
Red Wing Republican Eagle 3BWednesday
February 6, 2013
Setting an example On May 19, 2003, theBreuer family received thenews: Bryce, the family’sthird child, had acute lym-phoblastic leukemia. Thediagnosis came the dayafter Bryce’s fifth birth-day. Mitchell and Logan re-call an eager child who fol-lowed in his brothers’footsteps. “He, for sure, wouldhave been anotherwrestler,” Mitchell said.“He liked to tag along withus; stuff like that.” As the Breuer familywas getting blood tests tosee if there were anymatches for Bryce,Mitchell — at 11 years old— already had it in hismind that he would be theone to help. “He actually said, whenthey all had their blooddrawn, ‘I hope I’m the onewho’s the exact match be-cause it should be megoing through it instead ofthe other brothers,’” saidSusie Matthees, Mitchell’smother. “Then, when wefound out a week laterthat he was the match, hegot a big smile. It was likehe knew that it was goingto be him.” Bryce and Mitchell hadtwo operations: a bonemarrow transplant and adonor lymphocyte infu-sion, which involves sepa-rating healthy T-cells froma donor’s blood. As hisyounger brother was suf-fering, Mitchell made theeffort to see Bryce at thehospital as much as hecould. “Mitchell would alwaystry and get to the hospitalthe most,” Susie said. “Alot of times, Logan camealong, too.” Mitchell added, “For awhile, I tried to get outevery Tuesday to go andsee him.” But Bryce was not
showing progress in hisrecovery and was fadingaway. In the last week ofhis life, Bryce stayed atthe family’s home outsideof Goodhue. “Family was over a lot,just hanging out with ourfamily, trying to distractyou from what’s reallygoing on, which didn’twork,” Mitchell said. “Thelast thing I remember issitting down in the livingroom, then Dad came run-ning down the stairs andgrabbed all of us boys andbrought us upstairs, after(Bryce) had taken his lastbreath.” Mitchell said he found astrong figure to emulate inhis little brother. “I’d say Bryce wasstronger than a lot ofadults, just because hehad gone through so muchand kept a good attitudethe whole way through,”Mitchell said. “He justwas the unlucky one. Dadalways said that there arepeople that can drink andsmoke all the time andthey’re fine, but why doesthis have to happen tohim? He’s just a nice littlekid.” After Bryce’s passing,then-Wildcats headwrestling coach Bill Sut-ter renamed the homeyouth wrestling tourna-ment the Bryce BreuerMemorial Tournament. Over a year later, thetournament was renamedagain to the Tim andBryce Breuer MemorialTournament.
Flashing lights Still reeling fromBryce’s death, the Breuerfamily came home on aJuly night after pickingup Susie from the airportfollowing a work confer-ence in Dallas. Five minutes after theygot home, as the boys wereoutside prepping a bon-fire, the scene becamefrantic inside the house asTim collapsed inexplica-bly. As Susie performedCPR on her husband, theboys were unaware until
Mitchell saw the lights ofthe ambulance off the win-dows of the family’scamper outside. “I kept telling all theadults, the first respon-ders, to go check on theboys,” Susie said. Mitchell, age 13, re-membered having to han-dle his brothers as chaosensued. “I was trying to keepEthan (the youngestBreuer boy) under control.I wasn’t crying at thatpoint,” Mitchell said. “Ourneighbor came out andcalled me and my brothersto come over. That’s whenI started crying.” Then Susie had to breakthe tragic news: Tim haddied. “At that point, theythought it was a heart at-tack,” Mitchell said. “They all screamed,‘No!’” Susie said. “The dif-ference with Bryce is weall got to have time withhim, and we hoped andprayed that he’d beat theleukemia, but he just keptgetting worse. With Tim,we were home 20 minutesand he collapsed and wasgone instantly.” Though grief-stricken,Susie gave her oldest sonsome advice. “I remember saying tohim the night that Timdied, ‘I know you’re goingto want to step up to theplate and try to be theman of the house. But Iknow your dad would sayto be who you are and be13. Help your mom out,but don’t try to grow uptoo fast,’” Susie said. “Tim was such a wise,wise man, and a commit-ted and devoted father.These boys had alreadyexperienced so much with17 months betweendeaths.”
Mitchell matures Mitchell picked up theslack wherever he couldaround the house. “He tried to do thethings that Tim did,” Susiesaid. “As I learned how tostart doing those things,we kind of became a team.But then, he’s also teach-ing his brothers, too.” On the family’s farm-land, Mitchell became theright-hand man for hisgrandpa, helping grow cashcrops during the spring andfall. Mitchell already hadlearned some things fromhis dad, like how to drive atractor. “Every weekend I wasout there, because if you’redown a guy, you can’t oper-ate,” Mitchell said. Logan chimed in, “Inef-ficiencies kill a small busi-ness.” Looking to continuehelping the family afterhigh school, Mitchell hasbeen accepted at the Uni-versity of Wisconsin-RiverFalls, where he plans onmajoring in ag engineer-ing or ag management.
Father-and-son sport Wrestling was always auniting factor in theBreuer household. The
garage was filled withwrestling mats, and Timhad hoped to become anassistant coach at Good-hue, his alma mater. “One of the things aboutTim is that he loved hav-ing five boys,” Susie said.“And with the ages theywere at, he always said,‘We’re going to have fourboys on varsity, sinceMitch will be a senior andJoel will be a seventh-grader.’ That was his goal,to get all four of them onvarsity.” But without his dad, thesport became a burdenduring the early part ofevery season for Mitchell.He struggled to find thedrive to cut weight and topractice. “There have been plentyof times that since youdon’t have Dad aroundthat you think, ‘I couldjust quit. That’s fine. Noone will say I should staywith it,’” Mitchell said.“But really, there arecountless, countless peo-ple around that want youto stick with it.” Every match, Mitchellwrestles for his brotherand especially his dad. Hisyounger brothers arewired the same way, butthey say the tragedies af-fected Mitchell the most. “It’s different for me, be-cause Mitch had that (sev-enth-grade) year withDad,” Logan said. “I wasjust in fifth grade, but Istill try and do it for themand make Dad proud.” In five years of coachingMitchell, Grant recalls sev-eral times where he wasstruggling. But with a de-voted family behind him,Mitchell was always ableto pull out of his funks. “I don’t think I couldhave done it without hismother and the familythat’s behind Mitchell,”Grant said. “There’s beenplenty of conversationswhere I could see Mitchellspiraling emotionally inpractice, almost to thepoint of shutting down,losing his passion for thesport, because of thoseemotions coming back. …In the end, he’s the onethat keeps sticking it out.”
Family matters Since October 2011, the
Breuer boys have had anew face in the house:their stepfather RossMatthees. He and Susieare expecting their firstchild together in May. Once he met the family,Ross said he saw a groupof boys who were maturebeyond their years. What also helped thembond was wrestling. Rosswas a grappler at Zum-brota-Mazeppa HighSchool. After helping outwith the elementaryschool team, Ross is nowan assistant coach for theGoodhue varsity and jun-ior varsity, where heworks with Mitchell,Logan and Joel. “It’s really good just toget that pat on the back byhim after every match,”Mitchell said. Logan added, “You canalways have somebody totalk to. If you lose a closematch or you go throughsomething tough withwrestling, I can comehome and talk to him.” Having that support –from home, from Goodhue,from the wrestling com-munity – has continued tobe a motivator for theBreuers through thetough times. “There are a lot of differ-ent roads (Mitchell) couldhave gone down,” Grantsaid. “I’m way prouder ofthat than anything he’sdone on the mat. I’m justglad wrestling has been avehicle to do this stuff andhe still has positive peoplearound him to carry thatload.” Success, whether on themat, on the farm or withthe family continues to bea driving force forMitchell, just like the fa-ther he learned from andthe brother he was willingto give anything for. “I know if (Dad) wasstill here today, and hesaw how Mitch and mewere doing, he’d thinkthat was pretty awesome,”Logan said. Mitchell added, “I thinkhe’d be very proud of usand proud for us. Go tostate, don’t go to state,but for sure, you finish aseason. You start some-thing, you finish it. That’swhat he would want themost.”
BREUER Continued from page 1B
Top: Joe Brown/Republican Eagle. Bottom: Submitted photoTop: Joining the Goodhue varsity wrestling team as a seventh-grader, senior MitchellBreuer has a record of 114-59 and reached state for the first time as a junior. Bottom: On Dec. 14, 2012 at the Chisago Lakes Invitational, Breuer picked up his100th career win.