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Wagner's Latest Winner (Alex Kocer)

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At this weekend's Class 'B' State Wrestling tournament, all eyes will be on Logan Storley of Webster who is seeking his sixth state title.  But there is another wrestler who has a chance to make his own bit of history.  Jason Anschutz has his story in our Taco John's Athlete of the Week segment.

The Wagner wrestling program has seen more than it's share of great wrestlers and many of them have the same last name.  The Kocer family is well known in the wrestling community.  And 152 pound junior, Alex Kocer has a chance to win his fourth state title this year.

"He's got that never-give-up attitude and I think that's part of it too," said Wagner wrestling coach John Tyler.  "He's just, whether we're down in a match or whether we're up in a match, he's always working for that next score."

Kocer seems to score at will when he's wrestling.  Like any dominant grappler, he gets his share of pins, but he also racks up technical falls--wins by 15 points or more--with regularity.

"When you've got a kid like that, you just kind of sit back and enjoy the ride really," said Tyler.

Kocer started wrestling varsity as a seventh grader and finished fourth at the state tournament in 2007.  Since then he has been unstoppable at State, winning titles the past three years, as a 103 pound 8th grader, a 119 pound freshman, and a 130 pound sophomore.

"Winning a state title is not always just for one person.  You're always doing it for someone else," said Kocer.

In Alex's case it's for both his family and his teammates.  Just like Kocer, the Wagner wrestling team has won three straight state titles.

Unlike his team this year though, Kocer is the favorite to win again.  If he does, he would have the opportunity to claim title number five in his senior season, something that only four other wrestlers have ever done.

"I think about it," admitted Kocer.  "It doesn't cross my mind all the time, it's just at the end of the year, at the end of the wrestling year I think about it and then start working for the next year."

Next year is here for Alex Kocer.  He wrestles at State on Friday in Aberdeen.  And while he's already continued the legacy of a great wrestling family, now he's looking to join the ranks of the best wrestlers South Dakota has ever seen.
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