As someone who has wrestled for 18 years of his life, Max Villnow is approaching a big transition in his life: leaving his favorite sport behind.
Villnow grew up in Amherst, Wisconsin and started wrestling after his parents signed him up in kindergarten. He attended school at Amherst High School, where he was a three-time state qualifier for their wrestling team. He placed twice at state, including his second place finish in 2018. During his senior season, he had a record of 44-2 and an overall high school career record of 162-28.
Villnow chose to wrestle for Minnesota State for two reasons.
“I was attracted to MSU because of the great culture that Coach Makovsky has built for this wrestling team,” said Villnow. “Additionally, Mankato was a great fit for me academically and location wise.”
Making the jump from high school to collegiate wrestling was an eye-opener for Villnow.
“Collegiate wrestling is a whole different world. Everyone on a college roster is good, so there really are no easy matches in college like there are in high school,” said Villnow.
During his wrestling career at MSU, Villnow has seen a great deal of action, placing in several college opens. In 2018 he earned a spot in the NCAA Division II Super Regionals.
This season, Villnow has a lot of confidence in himself, as well as the team. He has moved to a different weight class this year, going from heavyweight, to now wrestling at 197. Villnow hopes to bring his talents in this new weight class all the way to nationals.
“I’m feeling great about this season. We have a young, talented team that I think will surprise a lot of people,” said Villnow. “My personal goal is to qualify for the national tournament.”
Wrestling has made a huge impact on Villnow and has shaped him into the person he is today. Being a part of the Mavericks has taught him many things.
“Being a part of this team and this sport has taught me so much. It has taught me how to deal with adversity, how to hold myself accountable and how to persevere when things get tough,” said Villnow. “That isn’t just for wrestling. It applies to all areas of my life.”
Outside of wrestling, Villnow is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He will take this degree to work at the Waupaca Foundry in Waupaca, Wisconsin.
Villnow also enjoys spending his time doing many outdoor activities. He loves hunting, fishing, hiking, waterskiing, wakeboarding and snowboarding.
As this is his final season of his wrestling career, Villnow is looking to make the most of it.
“As a senior, I try as hard as I can to not take anything for granted,” said Villnow. “Looking back, my career has gone by so fast. I’m very thankful for all of my opportunities, and as a senior, I truly value them more than I ever have.”
Header Photo: Max Villnow (above,) is in the process of completing his fifth year at MSU. (File Photo)
Write to Ali Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org