GLENWOOD, Minn. — Lunchtime with his pals in the Minnewaska School cafeteria is one of the simple moments Dylan Jergenson had no idea he'd miss until the accident.
"After the accident, I didn't know what was going to be normal after that," Jergenson said.
Jergenson was getting ready to hunt with friends in fall 2017 when he fell off the back of an SUV while moving equipment, hitting his head on the highway.
"I had fractures throughout the side of my head and down through my jaw. I was bleeding in the brain. Blood was coming out of my ear and everything like that. They said I wasn't supposed to survive," Jergenson said.
Dylan survived with traumatic brain injury. Superintendent Chip Rankin, an Iraq War vet, knew exactly how serious that was.
"At the time, in my mind, just to see Dylan come back and walk into the building on his own, that'd be a huge goal before he graduates," Rankin said.
Dylan overcame memory issues and returned to the classroom within months.
And this year, after missing one season, Dylan returned to the wrestling mat, where Rankin is also the coach.
"It blows my mind to see his recovery this quick," Rankin said.
Dylan didn't just have a good season.
On Saturday, in the Section 5A championship match, Dylan earned a trip to state by beating the top ranked opponent.
"I was very excited and I got up and I showed the crowd the Minnewaska 'M.' I was proud to be from Minnewaska wrestling. It was a very exciting moment," Jergenson said.
"Usually when one of your own wrestlers win, the local crowd stands up. But when you see the whole gym rise, I think it's just a story of how much we pull for each other," Rankin said.
The Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament starts Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center. Dylan's individual matches start Friday.