Kyle Dukowitz is used to being a road Warrior.
His father's occupation has taken the family from Minnesota to Washington to Wisconsin and back to Minnesota.
And, for the last few years, the younger Dukowitz has been commuting from the Pillager school district to Brainerd to wrestle for the Warriors.
This school year he is commuting to Central Lakes College in Brainerd where he carries 19 credits as a postsecondary option student.
Dukowitz also is a student of his sport, one at which he excels. He won two freestyle state tournaments in Washington and was runner-up in another in Wisconsin.
Last weekend he won the 145-pound title in the Paul Bunyan Invitational and added a victory against Rocori on Tuesday, raising his season record to 10-1 and his career mark to 86-37.
Dukowitz beat Bemidji's Joe Anderson 4-3 for his Bunyan title, the only one secured by a Warrior.
"Even though I didn't get a takedown against (Anderson) I think I beat him by staying aggressive," Dukowitz said. "If I needed a takedown I think I would have been able to get one.
Weight: 145 pounds
Other sports: Cross country, track and field
Memorable sports achievement: Wrestling in 2004 state tournament
Grade-point average: 3.2
Favorite subject: Science
Favorite food: Baked potatoes
Favorite TV show: "CSI"
Hobbies: Riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers
Future plans: Attend college, wrestle, become a teacher
Athlete he admires: Olympic wrestler Cael Sanderson
Parents: Gail and Jerry Dukowitz
"I think it's cool to be the only one on our team that did that. But it was important that I did it, team-wise, to keep the morale up."
Warriors coach Bob Brakke said Dukowitz raises team morale with his leadership.
"He kind of takes it upon himself that nobody works harder in the room than he does," Brakke said. "He tries to lead by example, yet he's a good verbal leader as well."
Dukowitz hopes his early season success translates into a return to state. Last season, at 135 pounds, he lost his only two matches at state.
"It was a great sensation to be down there, with huge crowds at the Xcel Center," he said. "It was really something. Being down there with the late Dan Fleischhacker, and hanging out with him, was fun."
Dukowitz finished last season 28-11. Brakke believes he's a better wrestler because of the state experience.
"He still has a ways to go, and he knows that," Brakke said. "If he wants to place highly in the state he needs to improve, yet he's right there. He's turning that corner so to speak."
Running cross country and track at Pillager have helped Dukowitz turn the corner.
"Cross country is still pretty much an individual thing," Dukowitz said. "You have to tough it out the whole time and that's pretty much what wrestling is. You don't have a team to fall back on if something goes wrong. You're pretty much out there by yourself and you have to keep going the whole time, keep toughing it out.
"That's kind of why I run cross country. It's more of an individual thing, yet it still has a team in the background."
Other notable efforts:
Andrew Mehr and Josiah Collins, swimming, each won two individual events and were on two first-place relays against Rocori.
Amie Meyer, girls' hockey, made 35 saves against Crookston.
Nick Whichello, boys' hockey, made 40 saves against Cloquet.
Kara Rutman, Maggie Freiday and Lauren Deyo, gymnastics, won titles in the Brainerd quadrangular.
Mike Bialka can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.