The Hastings Raiders wrestling team continues to celebrate their team state championship. Videos have emerged of the celebration from across the city, including at Dugarel’s Bar and Grill, where the restaurant showed the state title match. Video from their social media emerged of the restauraunt cheering wildly as Blake Clemons recorded the final pin.

Reactions poured in from Mayor Mary Fasbender, Shane Hudella, and even across the river in Prescott. One in particular was Prescott Girls Golf, who knows a thing or two about winning state titles, including their thrilling come from behind win themselves this year.

Hastings Baseball, Hastings Lacrosse, and Hastings Hockey also extended their congratulations to the team, and many other wrestling teams from Eagan to Goodhue to Prior Lake joined in on the fun on social media.

The comeback had the high school sports world buzzing. News stations and newspapers had grabbed a hold of the news. Simley and Jackson County Central, who repeated as state title winners in A and AA, even briefly drew their attention from their mats to Mat 4, where the Raiders completed the upset. The MSHSL themselves called it a “reversal” as the Raiders swung momentum, and others in attendance called it a massive upset.

In Saint Paul itself, fans were hugging, posing for pictures and embracing one another. All of the students in attendance took a photo with the wrestling team, and “Raider Nation” chants reverberated through the X. As fans filed out of the Xcel Energy Center and into the parking lots, horns were honking, Raider Nation chants broke out again, and a long line of excited vehicles made their way back down 61 into town.

It was a huge night not just for wrestling, but for this community. Not since 2013 had the city been able to come together and celebrate a team title. Not since 1996 had they been able to do it for wrestling.

As Sports Director Trey Lower was sitting in Cossetta’s after the morning sessions, studying up on how the Raiders could win, he was told “they just need to make up 20 points”

The Raiders did more than that, they made up 23. March 2, 2023 will forever live in Hastings lore, both as a city and athletically.

Hastings: a city of champions again


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