By Reg Chapman

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

KENYON TOWNSHIP, Minn. (WCCO) — An entire community is mourning a big loss in the wrestling community as another teammate fights to survive.

Jake Baalson was killed in a car crash in Holden Township early Saturday morning. Chad Lexvold was seriously hurt.

They were with two other young people when the car went off the road and flipped several times.

Kenyon Township is a small community with a lot of heart. On Sunday, the community wrapped its arms around the two families, one mourning the loss of a son, the other holding vigil at the hospital, praying their son recovers from his injuries.

Patrick Walsh said it’s hard to pass by the intersection of County Road 30 and 50th Avenue in Holden Township without thinking about two young men who attended the high school where he is principal.

Lexvold and Baalson were in a car with two other young people when it veered off the road and into a ditch early Saturday morning.

They were less than a half a mile from Lexvold’s home.

Walsh said both were wrestlers at Kenyon-Wanamingo High School.

“The Lexvold name is synonymous with Kenyon and wrestling in the state of Minnesota,” said Walsh.

Walsh said Lexvold, who placed second at state, comes from a long line of champion wrestlers. His older brother, Nathan, is a wrestler at Augsburg. Another brother, Drew, is a two-time state champion who attends the University of Minnesota, Walsh said.

His brother, Chad, is going to school at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he said.

“And Mitchell, the youngest brother, recently won a state championship two weeks ago,” said Walsh.

Skyler Quamme said both Baalson and Lexvold were leaders on and off the wrestling mat.

“I’ve been with them my entire life. I’ve wrestled with them, been in the classroom, hung out with them all the time,” he said.

Baalson was known for his humor.

Lexvold for his big smile and infectious laugh.

The entire community has come together twice since the accident in prayer, for Lexvold.

“We’re a small community and we’re one big team,” said Quamme.

Lexvold’s mom keeps everyone up to date on his progress on his CaringBridge site.

Well wishes are pouring in from all over the country from coaches and former wrestlers who admire and respect the Lexvold legacy.

Principal Walsh said he wants kids to remember to wear their seat belts and make good decisions.

Baalson makes the third wrestler from Kenyon-Wanamingo High to die in a car crash in seven years.

Comments (16)
  1. Tim Blazek says:

    The story on the 10:00 news was very poorly done. It was full of mistakes and informatiion that was completly wrong. Didn’t anyone notice that the pictures of Bronson Steuber from Jackson County Central looked nothing like Chad Lexvold from Kenyon-Wanamingo? After seeing this story and how badly it was done, I question the accuracy of all of your news reporting. Having known the Lexvold family for a few years and watching the Kenyon wrestling team, I saw the mistakes immediately. Shouldn’t you verify the facts and details before airing a story this serious?

    1. switched to KSTP says:

      This is not the first time they didn’t get it right. AND none of the other stations have reported this story yet, they are more than likely still getting the facts. It all about being the first to report it, who cares if its the whole story or even the right one….

      1. your face says:

        If you switched to kstp then you should’nt be on this site looking at the horrible reporting. =)

  2. Sarah says:

    My prayers are with these families. When I was in high school we had a similar event involving four high school students and all of them died. It was very hard for our community to heal from such a tragedy… truly feel for those involved and those in the community…

  3. Jackie Santopietro says:

    My best wishes to all families involved. Tonight of course I am thinking of Chad and hoping for a bright spot in this tragic event. Best wishes to all involved in the Kenyon-Wanamingo area.


  4. Darren says:

    Every high school class it seems loses classmates, it is part of life, but it is so sad and so many times unneccessary, but the choices we make in life do effect us. And as we all remember, most of us didn’t make all that good of choices when we were younger. IBut it seems that everytime this happens, and it happens each and every year it effects alot of people. Some people will learn from this, but another tragedy will happen somewhere to another high school class. Love your kids at all times, never go away mad, You just never know. My condolences to the family and friends.

  5. WHAT??? says:

    I don’t mean to be heartless or anything, but all that is mentioned about the other young people in the car, is that they were in the car. I am sure their familys appriciate being put on the back burner, just because they aren’t big time wrestlers. My prayers are with the family of the boy who passed but what about everybody else, did they all survive or should we be praying for them too…:(

    1. Bobbie Jean Knealing says:

      Yes they survived. The young girl has been released from the hospital, and the other young man is still hospitalized but doing much better.

  6. Colleeen Reese says:

    My son Joe V. from Hayfield has wrestled with these boys for quite a few years and we would like to extend our heartfelt sadness to the kids,families and the community of Kenyon and to tell you that you are all in our thoughts and our prayers.

  7. Roy Ellsworth & family says:

    Thoughts and prayer to the freinds and family.

  8. Bobbie Jean Knealing says:

    This report is badly written as well as inaccurate. If you want the real facts go to the Star trib site or the Kenyon Leader for the truth.

    Kenyon/Wanamingo community is praying for the Lexvold, Baalsam, Groth, and Trevis families.

  9. Xoom Tablet says:

    I don’t disagree with this blog post!!

  10. dripable service says:

    You’r exactly correct on this one.

  11. لینوکس says:

    This post couldn’t be more on the money!!

  12. Nikon Coolpix l22 Digital Camera says:

    I dont disagree with this blog!!

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