FORSYTH — Michael Weber, Montana’s 35th four-time high school state wrestling champion, will continue his career at North Dakota State University his coach and father, Scott, confirmed to MTN Sports on Wednesday. Weber will join his older brother Luke on the NDSU wrestling team.
“I really want to go on to medical school and be an orthopedic surgeon. I know NDSU has a really good program there when it comes to stuff like that, so that’s kind of what I made my decision on,” said Michael Weber. “It’s also very affordable, too, and at the end of the day wrestling is nice and all, but the education is more important.”
“Matt Nagel, he’s one of the assistant coaches there, he came out here and was very personable, I really got a good feel for him. When I went out there they treated us very well and it was a great family atmosphere, so it fit the boys really well,” Scott Weber said. “And Luke has really liked it out there. I think that’s important. It was a great move for Luke to go to NDSU and be a starter there right out of the gate, that kind of helped Mike make a decision, too, I think.”
Weber capped his prep wrestling career with a 14-6 major decision in the Class B/C 152-pound championship, earning his family’s 18th high school wrestling championship. Scott Weber was a champion in the early 1980s, Michael, Luke and Matthew won four titles each, Brandon was a three-time champion and Nathan won a pair of titles to keep the Weber family ahead of Colstrip’s Curriers as the winningest family in Montana wrestling.
Jackson Currier, along with Havre’s Martin Wilkie, joined Michael Weber as four-time champions during February’s state wrestling tournaments in Billings. Currier committed to Utah Valley University, while Wilkie will compete for former Sidney standout Brandon Eggum, who coaches at the University of Minnesota.
Weber has become best friends with his fellow four-timers, as he did with other future Division I wrestlers like Colstrip’s Nakoda Siegel (Campbell University), Bozeman’s Chance McLane (Oklahoma State) and Billings West’s Jace Rhodes (Wyoming).
“It definitely lives up to the quote that iron sharpens iron,” said Michael Weber. “We all started with this little dream and we’ve been able to help each other achieve it. I’m one of the last ones to do it, but it took me a little longer than the others, but we still got there. It’s just amazing to have a group of guys from different towns who have come together and have achieved a humongous dream and goal to wrestle Division I.”
With multiple schools in the mix, NDSU was an easy decision for Weber, who plans to study exercise science. The multiple-time all-American repeatedly mentioned the campus and facilities in Fargo, as well as the coaches that lead the program.
The Bison also sent four wrestlers to the NCAA Division I wrestling championships last month.
“Mike can wrestle with those kids,” said Scott. “Mike is wrestling, the kids he’s wrestling with right now at the national level are the ones that are getting the DI scholarships, too, and he’s wrestled with them and beat them. We know we can wrestle at that level.”
“That’s the goal, to stand on top of the podium. First you have to be an all-American, though, but I feel that once I get there and start working, it’s definitely attainable and I can definitely do it at NDSU with those guys there,” added Michael. “They know what they’re doing. Having my brother Luke up there, I haven’t been able to have anybody hound on me and drive me like I know I should be driven and can be driven. I feel like I’m going to be an all-American at NDSU and that’s the plan.”
Michael Weber joins a pair of Montanans on the Bison wrestling program: former Belgrade four-time champion Sawyer Degen, a redshirt freshman last season, and older brother Luke, a redshirt sophomore who transferred from the University of Nebraska.
The chance to once again compete with Luke, who Michael joked will “never be the best (in the family)” back in February, was an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up.
“It’s going to fuel the fire a little bit. Brotherly love and hopefully we don’t, when you have brothers wrestling, it kind of turns into fights, but hopefully it won’t turn into that since we’re older and more mature,” said Michael.
“There’s going to be some good mix-ups there. They had a chance to roll around over Christmas break a little bit. Mike has a lot of stuff he needs to work on because he didn’t have a practice room down here that you have to go tough every day, but I think Luke was pleasantly surprised at how strong Mike has gotten the last couple years,” Scott said. “It should be a good mix. Mike is definitely strong.”
After having three sons — Brandon, Matthew and Nathan — competing at MSU-Northern, Luke and Michael joining forces in Fargo is also appealing to Scott and his wife Maria, making road trips a little easier with the two-for-one opportunities.
“It definitely is. But it is still 500 miles, those are a little longer road trips than the 300 (miles) to Havre,” laughed Scott. “I was just going to put a plug in and see if Cape Air would start flying over to Fargo. They go to Sidney, they go to Glasgow, I think. Maybe a sports writer could throw a plug in there and tell Cape Air to fly to Fargo because Sawyer Degen, he’s over there, too.”