Dominik Vacura spent his Thanksgiving break accompanying his father on a hunting trip to Montana. Jon Vacura had a successful hunt, shooting a mule deer; his son didn’t have a tag, so he was along to enjoy the trip.
“My dad shot a pretty nice buck,’’ Dominik Vacura said. “I just like going out there. I got to see more of the hilly side of Montana this time.
“I want to shoot a mule deer so bad. I never have gotten one. I want to get a monster one.’’
The hunting trophy has eluded Vacura. But he’s got a bigger plaque -- Vacura won the 220-pound title at the Minnesota Class A state high school wrestling tournament as a sophomore last season.
The Badger-Greenbush-Middle River junior is one of the standouts wrestling this weekend at Grand Forks Central at the annual Grand Forks Sertoma dual tournament, which concludes Saturday.
As much as Vacura enjoys hunting, “I’d take a state wrestling trophy over anything,’’ he said. “Getting a mule deer would be awesome. But winning state, you can’t beat that.
“I want two more state championships.’’
For a sophomore to win a state championship is not a rare occurrence. For a sophomore to win at one of the heavier weights is a little more unusual.
“If sophomores win state, it probably is at a lighter weight where you’re wrestling a lot of younger kids,’’ B-G-MR coach Isaac Novacek said. “When you get past 160 pounds, that's where you see a lot of juniors and seniors wrestling. Sophomores aren’t usually there yet as far as physical strength compared to juniors and seniors in the upper weights.
“Dominik is just good. He’s a natural athlete. He’s strong. He’s a really good technician. He does everything right.’’
Novacek can relate to Vacura’s early success. Novacek was a state 103-pound champion as a sophomore. That turned out to be his only state championship.
“The mentality is you want to keep winning,’’ Novacek said. “But you know it isn’t going to be handed to you. I found that out. I got heavier and went up a few weights. It got tougher.
“But if Dominik stays the course and keeps training hard like he does, I see no reason he can’t win more state titles. Dominik works hard.’’
Vacura hasn’t become complacent. On the contrary, the junior says he has pushed himself harder. “I think I’ve worked harder,’’ he said. “I’ve done more conditioning. I want to be really tired after every practice.
“I think I’m stronger this year. I’m more physical. It’s being a year older. And I hit the weights hard last summer.’’
Vacura did take one break. While he worked on conditioning and weightlifting, he didn’t wrestle last summer.
“I haven’t had a break from wrestling since I was in seventh grade,’’ he said. “I took some time off to do some fishing. I love the outdoors.’’
His hobbies are hunting and fishing. Vacura’s passion is wrestling.