Red Bulls’ Rohman eclipses 100-win career mark

INITIAL TAKEDOWN — Martin County Red Bulls wrestler Carver Rohman (right) prepares to take down Redwood Valley’s Evan Reinke during 182-pound action on Jan. 12 at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. Two days later, Rohman recorded the 100th win of his esteemed prep wrestling career. (Photo by Greg Abel)

SHERBURN — “Scared money don’t make money.” That is the quote that Class AA No. 4 ranked 160-pound senior Carver Rohman of the Martin County Red Bulls lives by.

On Jan. 14, Rohman put those words in motion by earning his 100th career win with a 24-8 major decision over St. Peter’s Taylen Travaille in 4:09.

“It means it’s a big accomplishment. It’s not what I am all looking for. One hundred wins isn’t going to get you a placement or anything like that,” said Rohman. “It means don’t go out there and fear anyone. Just go out there and wrestle your match and your style.

“Rankings don’t matter. Just don’t be scared of anyone. Don’t dodge anyone because the matches are going to make you better.”

Wrestling is one of those sports you either love it or hate it. To be successful, you need to put in the work whether it’s in the offseason or in-season conditioning. For some, it can take a toll on an athlete forcing them to quit and that is what almost happened to Rohman.

“I wasn’t that good. It sucked losing all the time and not being what you wanted to be. I saw my cousin (Miles Fitzgerald), he was struggling. He was just putting a lot more hours in and ended up doing good,” said Rohman. “That motivated me to try to do the same thing and it started working out for me. I am glad I didn’t quit.

“Looking back at it now, I feel like if I would have quit I wouldn’t be where I am at like the person outside of wrestling today. Once you quit wrestling, it’s easy to quit everything else. My family talked me out of it and told me to stick it out. They said keep working hard.”

Born into a wrestling family — including four uncles, one cousin and an older brother — that has won a combined six state titles and five runners-ups, you could say wrestling was in Rohman’s blood as he got his interest from watching his older brother Jaxson wrestle in his kindergarten days.

“I saw some of those struggles. We tried to help him stay patient and continue to work and improve. He wrestled different levels for us. A lot of (junior varsity) matches, the ninth-grade league while wrestling seventh, eighth and ninth graders. He became a ninth-grade state finalist. That was an avenue where he found success and kept him motivated,” Red Bulls coach Adam Williamson said.

Since posting a 4-4 record as a freshman, Carver Rohman has blossomed into one of the elite wrestlers in the Red Bulls program with seasonal records of 26-9 in 2020-21, 44-8 last season and currently 35-1 to improve his career record to date to 109-22.

“He is a hard worker. He’s always going hard giving one hundred percent no matter what. I love it. It’s good for me and good for him, too. We push each other pretty hard in practice each day,” Red Bulls 152-pound senior Cooper Steuber said. “He’s really strong. He can always take you down. Sometimes it’s frustrating. He is a great kid. He is a leader, too. I love being around him. He always making everyone smile. He is a great teammate. Sometimes he can be quiet.”

For someone who is quiet inside the classroom, Rohman has made some noise on the mat. He has been a part of three consecutive team state appearances, a three-time all-Valley Conference wrestler, a two-time all-Big South Conference wrestler, a two-time team captain and last year was the recipient of the academic all-state award with earning a 3.5 plus grade point average.

Setting aside all those accomplishments last year, Rohman earned his opportunity to battle with some of the best at the state tournament by advancing to the final round of 16, but came up short 5-3 to runner-up Brandt Bombard (31-5) of North Branch and 5-2 to Cody Wienen (42-8) of Thief River Falls.

Rohman has learned a lot in those two matches to motivate him to set two goals. One, reach the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and standing atop the podium as the 160-pound Class AA champion and two, reach 200 takedowns for the year and 500 overall. Currently Rohman leads the team with 141 this season and owns an overall 430 takedowns.

“I think just getting that experience and feeling that heartache of coming up short and not meeting the goals that he wanted. I think has pushed him that much harder in the offseason and during this season. Just that experience and frustration of not reaching your goal, I think has pushed him to the new level that he’s wrestling at now,” Martin County assistant coach Dusty Faber said. “He a grinder. He has that confidence and he just outworks them.”

Entering 2022-23, Rohman admits he didn’t think he would have the success that he has been brewing in his senior year, but credits his off-season motivation of lifting 10 hours a week and wrestling for six.

“Every wrestler is unique. He wrestles his style. He makes what he does his own. He is not in the shadow of anyone. He has blossomed as a wrestler. He is such an intense and focused offensive wrestler. He can get so powerful with his takedowns and offense from his feet. His length and reach gives him so much leverage which makes him very difficult to take down because he is so relentless with his offense,” Williamson said.

On the mat, Rohman enjoys using the double-leg takedown and wrestling on his feet, but when he is not wrestling he enjoys hitting the gym and playing his second favorite sport football. Rohman is a two-sport athlete on the Martin County West football team while playing a variety of positions from linebacker, defensive line, fullback, to quarterback. Rohman’s passion for the gridiron started in second grade.

“Most varsity sports are different from wrestling. You may not be a contributor until a junior or senior. With wrestling and having different sizes of kids. Many times younger kids can earn those varsity spots. Carver was behind some outstanding wrestlers that were older than him which he could learn from but couldn’t crack that varsity lineup until sophomore. His role was to wrestle for the team not so much for the tournaments. Which has molded him to where he is today having that team mindset,” Williamson said.

One would think advancing to the state tournament for the first time would be one of your proudest moments. For Rohman, it was last year losing to the three-time state qualifier 160-pound Jude Link of Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield by a 6-3 decision. Link now wrestles at the University of Iowa.

“He (Link) was ranked No. 1. Even though I lost, it was a big stepping stone for me. I then realized I can wrestle with the best,” Rohman said. “He started beating me right away. As the match kept going, I was inching my way closer and closer and once the final whistle blew, he beat me. I was just trying to control the pace after he got up a bit.”

This year Rohman would get some redemption from last year’s loss as he won the Redwood River Riot 8-7 over Marshall’s Tate Condezo in a match some would say is one of his biggest career wins.

One special bond that Rohman cherishes is not only he got to wrestle on the same high school team as his older brother Jaxson, he also gets to spend time in the wrestling room with his younger brother 106-pound eighth-grader Pierce Rohman.

As far as what the future holds for Carver Rohman, he plans on attending a four-year college, but not sure where as he wants to pursue a career in education.


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