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Rohman joins pipeline to Augie

COMMITTED — In this 2020 MSHSL state wrestling photo, Martin County Red Bull Jaxson Rohman attempts to turn his opponent for a pin at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Rohman recently committed to continue his wrestling career at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, joining four Red Bull teammates on next year’s roster. (Photo by Greg Abel)

One more has joined the growing pipeline from the Martin County Red Bulls to the Augustana Vikings.

Jaxson Rohman has committed to becoming the fifth Martin County wrestler to trade his Bull horns for Viking horns, joining current teammate Connor Simmonds and former teammates Payton Anderson, Miles Fitzgerald and Nathan Simmonds.

Rohman, who has medaled at the Minnesota State High School League every year since his first opportunity as a seventh-grader, said he had options at bigger schools, but liked Augustana for a couple of reasons.

“First off, I visited a couple other schools like the U of M (Minnesota) and some other bigger schools like that, and I just thought that Augustana would be a better fit for me,” Rohman said. “And a couple of my buddies from the Red Bulls are there, so that also factored into why I chose the school.”

Rohman has the chance to continue his wrestling career alongside his Red Bull teammates in college because of the skill that has led him to numerous wins in high school.

Rohman became the Red Bulls’ all-time wins leader last year on Dec. 29 during the Rumble on the Red tournament in Fargo, N.D. when he claimed his 186th career win, passing Collin Steuber. Rohman went on to claim his 200th career victory in January.

Rohman’s success started quickly when he joined the Red Bulls varsity team as a seventh-grader, wrestling at 106 pounds, and worked his way to a 38-12 record. Rohman finished his initial varsity season with a sixth-place finish in the MSHSL state tournament.

Rohman used his quick ‘catch-and-release’ style, where he takes down and freely lets up his opponent to rack up points, to improve his record at 106 pounds as an eighth-grader. He was nearly perfect on the season, finishing with a record of 42-3 and standing in the second-place spot on the Xcel Energy Center podium after the state tournament.

In his freshman year, Rohman moved up to 113 pounds and claimed the ultimate wrestling prize.

“That’s definitely my favorite high school memory,” Rohman said.

Rohman eased his way to a pin, a major decision and a decision to make the 113-pound finals where he fought to a 10-3 win to claim gold.

His phenomenal freshman season ended with a record of 55-2 and a gold medal.

The winning ways continued for Rohman as a sophomore, totaling 47 on the way to his third consecutive state championship match, claiming his second silver.

Luckily for Rohman and all Minnesota wrestlers, the 2020 state tournament was held about a week before the first state-wide COVID-19 lockdowns.

Rohman entered his junior state tournament with a perfect record of 45-0. He went on to easily make it to Day 2 of the tournament, but lost a 6-4 decision before winning his next two matches to take third at 126.

Rohman said he was disappointed about his most recent state appearance, but that only fuels his desire and hope for his senior wrestling season.

“I’m hoping we can have a state tournament, I hope they can figure something out that weekend,” Rohman said. “I don’t know what the plan would be, but I definitely want to get another shot to win the title in my senior year. I kind of choked a little last year, but I guess it will just be how it goes.”

The success wasn’t all individual for Rohman, though, as he helped lead the Red Bulls to their first team appearance at the state tournament in his gold-medal freshman year. Rohman and the four teammates he’ll rejoin at Augustana, led the Red Bulls to a second-place finish as a team. The group did it again two years later, claiming the team’s second silver medal in two state appearances.

Rohman is hopeful this wrestling season won’t face the same fate as many other MSHSL sports have this year, playing without the chance at a state tournament, and with good reason.

Rohman enters the 2020 season as the No. 4-ranked 132-pounder in Class AA’s initial rankings and the Red Bulls hold the No. 4 spot in the team standings.

But if the worst were to come for the high school season, Rohman would move on to join an Augustana roster that finished 10-4 during the 2019-20 season and placed third in the NCAA D-II Super Region 5 tournament before the NCAA D-II championships were canceled.

“They’ve been pretty good the last few years and they’re definitely up and coming and getting better every single year,” Rohman said of Augustana’s wrestling program. “So I’m excited to join a team like that. They’re going to be making some noise in these next couple years.”

Rohman said he is looking forward to continuing to grow as a wrestler as he moves up to the collegiate level. He said he knows there are parts of his skills that will need to improve if he wants to keep having the success he has become used to.

“There is a different, like, intensity that it brings,” Rohman said of college wrestling. “It’s like, you have to be way more technical and in way better shape than high school wrestling. It’s not, every once in a while you’ll get a tough kid. It’s every single match in college, you’ll have someone that’s a high caliber wrestler. So I’m excited for that.

“I definitely need to get better, like with my mat wrestling on top and bottom. I definitely need to work.”

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