Minot High grappler Dayne Haman wasn't an indolent talent leading up to his senior season, but the budding 182-pounder didn't have a lunch-pail approach either.
He's making the most of his final year of eligibility, though, and is seeing the fruits of his labor.
Haman placed second at last weekend's Bismarck Rotary, advanced to the semifinals of the 65-team "Rumble on the Red" tournament in Fargo and won his bracket at the 16-team Dickinson Tournament in December.
"I just approach practice a different way now," Haman said. "Before (senior season), I wouldn't give it my all sometimes. I've now realized the harder you work in practice the more it pays off in the matches."
Haman, who moved up to 182 from 170, placed seventh at the Class A state tournament a year ago and came into this season ranked fourth in his weight class. On a team with three headliners in Cody Haugen (145), Demetreus Roby (220) and Nick Nesdahl (285) - all state-title favorites - he's proving his worth, too.
"He's on a roll right now," Minot coach Nolan Spooner said. "He's been putting things together and isn't stopping his motion. If you can go non-stop for six minutes like he does, good things are going to happen."
A four-year lettermen, Haman was always conscious of the fact that he was an above-average wrestler. It wasn't until a tournament in Florida last summer where he began to believe he could compete for a state title.
Minot placed seventh at the AAU Scholastic Duals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World, where Haman won matches against top-tier opponents from the around the country.
"After (Florida) I realized I can compete with anyone if I just go hard for six minutes," Haman said.
While his growth on the mat is apparent, his maturation is even more gleaming.
Haman's typically the leader in drills, doling out advice to underclassmen and has done enough work physically to maintain one of the healthier builds on his team.
"Not only has he become a leader, he's been a mentor to a lot of these younger guys," Spooner said. "He's grown a lot between his junior and senior year and, as a coach, it's great to see that."
Majettes return one Duttenhefer, lose another
When Minot travels to Mandan for a West Region girls basketball game on Friday, it will welcome back sophomore guard Sierra Duttenhefer from an ACL injury.
Unfortunately she'll be without her twin sister and backcourt partner, McKale, for the entire season.
McKale, who coincidentally suffered the same injury as her sister last December, will be going under the knife next month, sidelining her until her junior year.
Sierra tore her ACL in a AAU game in Minnesota last summer.
"I really thought I'd have both of them this season," Minot coach Todd Magnuson said. "But if (McKale) is anything like (Sierra), she'll be back and ready to go next season."
The 5-foot-9 twins logged significant minutes as freshmen when Minot placed fifth at the Class A state tournament a year ago, and were both counted on to boost the Majettes' backcourt this winter.
Minot (1-5, 1-3) is averaging 22 turnovers a game and the return of Sierra should help whittle down that unsavory statistic.
"We're actually improving a little (with turnovers)," Magnuson said. "It's always good to see progress, but we have a ways to go."