BISMARCK, N.D. - Once you win a state championship, it's only natural to try and win another title the following year.
That's what Isaac Berger is trying to do in his senior season at Mandan.
Kaleigh puts this Braves standout in this week’s Sports Spotlight.
On the mat, he's known as Pipes, or Ice. When he's not wrestling, it's, just Isaac.
Isaac Berger is a returning state champion for the Mandan Braves. But if you were to ask him if he thought he would ever get to be one of the best in the state when he started, his answer would probably be no.
He got into the sport in kindergarten from a couple of friends, and though he didn't like it at first,
"My dad made me stick it out, and I've grown to love it,” said Berger. “I think wrestling, you know, you decide your own, you get out what you put in, so, I mean, you don't have to rely on anyone else for your success."
And that, he hasn't done. But wrestling isn't the only thing he keeps busy with.
"I hunt all the time. I mean, me and a bunch of guys on the team, we always go out and hunt, and, you know, we're always hanging out with each other, doing what teenagers do. Boys being boys," said Berger.
Back on the mat, it's the other boys that look up to him.
Mandan junior, Ethan Fleck said: "Isaac is the type of kid, he'll push you. And that's a great thing. He'll push you really hard."
"Isaac definitely keeps us in line being a state champ from last year just like how Dale Spillman did, he was a state champion his junior year, and Dale kept us in line last year,” said junior wrestler for Mandan Kolten Reisenauer.
That role that belonged to Spillman, now falls on Isaac, as head coach Luke Mellmer said: "He's a leader, I think that the younger classmen, maybe the inexperienced wrestlers can maybe look up to him on his success."
When asked, any personal goals for yourself this year? Isaac’s response: "State champ. Win a state championship."
Which is a fair enough answer. And despite no college plans yet, one thing that is for sure is, "I know after high school, I'm going to miss competing and everything, I'm going to miss working hard, so, I do want to wrestle in college."
And luckily, he still has some time to figure that out. Berger and the Braves will be back on the mat on Friday when they head to the St. Mary’s gym to face the Saints.