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Hall of Fame Spotlight: Trevor Laws

Posted: Monday, March 18, 2024 - 10:45 AM

HOF Class of 2024
Trevor Laws

Trevor Laws

It was 2003 and the Xcel Energy Center was electric with the excitement of a matchup for the ages during the Minnesota State High School League’s Wrestling State Tournament. In what many still believe is the biggest match in state tournament history, Apple Valley’s Trevor Laws and Hutchinson’s Jon May squared off in the Class AAA heavyweight semifinals.

Laws was the defending Class AAA state champion and the top-ranked heavyweight in the nation. May, who lost the season before to Laws in the championship match, was ranked No. 2 nationally. Seeding didn’t exist and seasonal state tournament matchups were determined on a rotational basis. The two seniors were in the upper bracket. Their friendship, nurtured through wrestling and competition, was put on hold.

The drama unfolded like never before. As match time approached, everyone stopped. Time stood still as the two heavyweights approached the mat like prize fighters. Referees, finished with their matches on adjacent mats, hustled over. Tournament personnel crowded in a little closer. Fans raced from the concession stand line so they wouldn’t miss a moment.

“I thought I was ready to dominate, but when I saw him walk out in a backward Randy Moss jersey, my confidence was shaken a little,” Laws recalls. “Amazing memories.”

Two wrestlers who had battled for three seasons were competing one last time and it was a classic. With each maneuver, be it offensively or defensively, the crowd roared. May held a 3-2 lead late in the third period. With Laws pushing hard for the late takedown, it was May who spotted an opening and a recorded a two-point takedown for a 5-2 victory. The arena erupted. What they had witnessed was epic.

“Everyone remembers where they were for the Laws-May match,” says Jim Bartels, the Hall of Fame radio announcer from KNUJ in New Ulm. “The loss is still a little raw,” says Pete Buesgens, a former longtime Apple Valley assistant coach, "all these years later."

May would go onto to win the heavyweight championship and Laws placed third.

After the match, Laws wasn’t sure what to do.

“It’s tough to look up there and you see people are so excited, not necessarily for Jon to win, but almost for me to lose, and that was hard for me to understand,” Laws said. “I remember being in the bowels of the Xcel Energy Center trying to figure out what really happened. I got a tap on my shoulder, and it was my coach, (Hall of Famer) Bill Demaray. He says, come with me. We went for a walk, and he shared the story of how his son, Matt, lost in the state finals his senior year. He told me how hard it was for him, and the journey he had to go through. That was one of the most impactful moments of my life. I thank him for that every day.”

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Laws finished his prep career as a two-time all-state football player for the Eagles. In wrestling, he anchored three Apple Valley team championships and had the individual wrestling title his junior year. He finished his high school wrestling career with a 139-5 record. Two of those losses were to May. The other was in the consolation semifinals his sophomore year.”

For his dominance, Laws will be recognized as one of 12 inductees into the Minnesota State High School League’s Hall of Fame Class of 2024. He is one of four athletes that is part of the induction class. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Sunday, April 14 at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel.

Laws went on to star at Notre Dame as a nose tackle, and in 2008, he was selected in the second round (No. 47 overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles. In his rookie season, he started all 16 games.

“If it weren’t for Jon May, I would’ve never played football, not in college or the pros,” Laws said. “That loss taught me what it feels like to lose and it’s something I never wanted to feel again. It let me know the level of participation that I needed to not feel that way. So, thank you, Jon May, I really appreciate that.”

Trevor Laws
Trevor Laws with Coach

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