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Jack Nelson is 2024 Winner of Yost-Haddorff-Leopold Award

May 3, 2024 — Mound Westonka High School is proud to name senior Jack Nelson as the 2024 male recipient of the Yost-Haddorff-Leopold Award. Other nominees for the annual outstanding male athlete award were Brett Bartkowicz, Connor Esposito, Jack Jack NelsonMarkstrom, Lucas Markstrom, Mikey Oftedahl, Charlie Paul and Carter Reinbold.

The award began as the Yost Award in 1953, honoring the late Frank Yost, a local pharmacist and ardent community sports supporter who died in 1952. In 1994, the award became the Yost-Haddorff-Leopold Award to also honor the memories of Oscar Haddorff, who died in 1970, a year after retiring as a 25-year MWHS teacher, coach, and athletic director; and Cory Leopold, a 1988 MWHS graduate and standout high school and college wrestler who was killed in a car accident in 1993. The scholarship component was added to the award at that time and is given each year to the school’s top male and female athletes.

During his high school athletic career, Nelson dominated the wrestling mat, setting a record in his senior year for most wins in a single season with 51. His career record of 195-22 is the second most wins in program history. A five-time state entrant, Nelson was state champion three years and state runner-up one year. Nelson was Wright County All Conference four times, team MVP three times, and captain his junior and senior years.

Nelson was named to the state All-Academic Team two years, and the Wright County All-Academic Team four times. The Guillotine named Nelson to its All-Academic Team his junior and senior years. He was also one of only eight seniors to receive a scholarship from the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.

Many memories come to mind when Nelson thinks of his high school sports career. He recalled his first varsity wrestling match as an eighth grader, having no idea that he would go on to sign and wrestle with his home state team, the Minnesota Gophers. “Another favorite memory is my first state championship, not knowing that I would get a chance to try and make it four in a row,” Nelson added.

In addition to his time on the mat, Nelson lettered in football his senior year, his only year on the team. He also earned three letters in baseball and served as captain his senior year.

“I feel I have been extremely lucky to have been a part of so many great teams, coaches and teammates,” said Nelson. “I will look back on my experiences and only feel pride in what I was able to achieve during my time at Mound Westonka High School.”