Weather Forecast


Nissen reaches goal, looks forward

It took a while for the accomplishment to sink in, but when it did, junior Andrew Nissen started to realize his hard work was starting to pay off.

Nissen ended last year’s season for the Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena wrestling team anticipating to achieve his 100th win in his junior year and that’s exactly what happened on Jan. 14 in Pine River.

His opponent knew what they were doing, Nissen said.

“Every match is hard in its own way,” Nissen said. “But I just wrestled the best match that I could and I was working for the pin for the team, too.”

The Bears didn’t end up winning the dual that day, but it was a surreal day for Nissen.

“I was like ‘is this really happening,’” Nissen laughed.

Much of his gratitude is for his teammates and coaches, as he believes that there is always room for improvement.

“You can always do better,” Nissen said. “Everyone in the practice room is definitely pushing me hard and wanting me to do better.”

Now, Nissen and the Bears are looking toward the future.

After a hard fought match against Grand Rapids on Wednesday night the Bears came out ahead 36-27.

Before facing Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Nissen said that Grand Rapids would be a good test for them.

BCLB hopes to make it to the state tournament this year, Nissen said.

“It would be a great accomplishment for this team and the coaching staff,” he added. “This coaching staff deserves it.”

“They’ve been great to us and this program and it would be good for the community too.”

The Bears fell to Pierz in early January so they’ve set a goal to overcome the Pioneers if they face them in the section tournament.

“We lost a lot of close matches that could have gone either way,” Nissen said of the dual against Pierz, who is seeded number one in Section 7A.

Before his match Wednesday, Nissen was 28-3 for the season. Last year was his best season, which ended at 32-9.

“There are a lot of good kids out there,” Nissen said.Daven Staples, of Cass Lake, also achieved 100 wins this season in early December. Look for his story in next week’s Blackduck American.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

(218) 333-9786