After former Canby wrestler Todd Burlingame(pictured at right)was hired as the new elementary principal, Donna Ahrens, district secretary, started planning the reunion.
An avid wrestling fan, Ahrens(pictured in the center)has kept all the wrestling scores from matches she has attended since the early 1970s. "I contacted Canby and asked for a 132-pound uniform. Burlingame wrestled in high school," Ahrens said.
She also contacted Burlingame's old coach, Jerry Jingles, to see if he would be able to attend the Paynesville-Canby match on Feb. 3, which he did.
Between the junior varsity and varsity matches, Burlingame was called to the announcer's stand. This is when Ahrens announced to himÉ "This is Your Life."
She also called Lee Wendlandt,(pictured at left)a former PHS 132-pound wrestler, forward at this time. To illustrate how the two men have changed since meeting each other on the mat in 1982, Ahrens had two 132-pound students, Josh Tebben and Jacob Kierstad, come forward. One student was dressed in a Bulldog uniform and the other in a Canby uniform.
According to Burlingame, the two opponents met several times over the years. Wendlandt recalls that Burlingame usually won the matches by two points.
Going into their last match up, the two men had similar records. His senior year Burlingame had a 23-4 record and Wendlandt, a junior, 26-4. Burlingame may have won the individual match, but Paynesville won the team match up, 23-22.
As a junior, Burlingame wrestled at 126 pounds and ended the season with a 22-6 record.
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