Ryan Henningson continues to make Winona wrestling history. Just a couple months back, Henningson knocked off defending State Champion Paxton Creese of Shakopee in a thrilling 6-4 decision in the MSHSL Class AAA State Finals at 120 pounds. Henningson, along with Shakopee’s Blake West (113# State Champ) and Forest Lake’s Derrick Cardinal (126# State Champ) were recognized by Wrestling USA Magazine as Wrestlers of the Year.
Henningson was also named to the Guillotine’s Academic All-State First Team in this past issue of Minnesota’s Wrestling Magazine. Henningson has committed to North Dakota State where he plans to take his wrestling skills to the next level.
After falling to Creese in the past two State Tournaments, including a controversial 6-5 decision in the 2019 Title Match, Henningson defeated the defending State Champion in nail-biting 6-4 victory in this year’s State Final match to become just the fifth State Champion in Winona wrestling history.
For Henningson, the season held some additional highlights. He collected win number 151 on January 4, passing teammate Jack Vaselaar for the most wins in program history.
In his final trip to state, Henningson was accompanied by his brother, Logan, who qualified at 126 pounds as a freshman. Ryan explained, “To be honest I was more excited for Logan than myself at the time. The opportunity to go to state with my brother was just awesome.”
Nowadays, Ryan is doing his best to stay in wrestling shape by working out on a regular basis with Logan; drilling technique, practicing moves, and sparring. It has been business as usual in spite of the pandemic. Like the rest of the country, the Henningson brothers are taking things one day at a time, both hoping that wrestling will be back next year. Regardless, the preparation never stops. Ryan stated, “After winning the state title, the expectations go up. I have four or more years of wrestling to prepare for.”