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Berg wins national championship

March 19, 2019

By Brithany Cervantes

            “My parents signed me up for my first tournament. I went to it, wrestled and got second place or something.”

That tournament marked the beginning of an illustrious career ending with an NAIA national championship title at 141 pounds for Midland University wrestler Joe Berg.

            Berg, who graduated in 2015, began wrestling for the West Point Grapplers in second grade. “When I was younger, the high school guys would come to the club practices and do things for the program. I wanted to do the same for the wrestling seniors and the program.”

            “My parents began to get me more involved; I would go to practices, and I had fun just playing games and wrestling around with my brother, Riley Berg.”

Berg didn’t set goals in the beginning, but he has had the same mindset every year, every season.

“I never really saw what would become of wrestling, it all just fell into place. Jason Redmond coached and helped me throughout all my years.”

According to Berg, high school vs. college wrestling is not all that different. “You have to put more time into it, but the coaching is the same.  You develop personal relationships just like in high school.

He added, “College practices are harder, but you know your competition is harder too because you are going against guys who want to get better.”

In his freshman year of high school, Berg weighed 95 pounds. “Freshman year, I didn’t make it to state. It was a great learning experience wrestling heavier guys, and I wouldn’t change anything.”

Some other significant wins in Berg’s career include earning the state title his senior year at 121 pounds in class B.

            For the past three years, Berg has finished 3rd at the NAIA National Championships. For Midland, he finished with a program best of 117 career wins. Additionally, Berg was named ‘Wrestler of the Year’ by the GPAC.

            Joe defeated Eric Clarke of Grand View 2-1 to win the national title.

            After graduating from Midland University for secondary education in physical education, Berg plans to move to the coast to pursue his career.


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