Dedicated athlete’s skills born on the farm

Multi-sport star Vogt earns local hall of fame nod

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SAUK CENTRE, Minn. — Growing up, there was not a lot of time in Ethan Vogt’s life that did not revolve around either athletics or agriculture.

And whether it was attending to chores around his family’s farm or in the midst of competition, Vogt gave everything he had to whatever task was put in front of him.

That work ethic carried him not only into a collegiate career in athletics but also a spot in the Sauk Centre Athletics Hall of Fame, as Vogt is one of six members of the class of 2023.

“My dad’s (Ken) in, my uncle’s (Lee) in, and now I get to go in,” Vogt said. “It’s really cool for me.”

Vogt, his dad and brother, Aaron, milk 300 cows near Sauk Centre. His dad was inducted into the Sauk Centre Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015 and was given the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2021. 

Vogt put his name in the state record books with an improbable run at the Minnesota State High School League Class AA Wrestling State Tournament in 2002, winning the 171-pound state champion-ship as a sophomore. 

“If you want to be good at wrestling, it’s a lifestyle,” Vogt said. “It’s constantly keeping your weight in control, not splurging and eating a terrible meal, and getting your extra workouts in. You wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about it. It’s a different animal.”

Vogt did not take first place at state again, but he was regularly in contention for the top spot. He fought through a hand injury during his junior season to make it to the Xcel Energy Center again and capped off his career with a fifth-place finish at 189 pounds in 2004. Overall, he won 159 matches, tied for the most in program history.

While Vogt came from a distinguished wrestling background, he was also passionate about an-other sport: baseball. Vogt was a brilliant baseball player for the Streeters; he played any position the team needed and was a fairly flexible fielder.

Vogt picked up a formidable pitching prowess and decided to play baseball collegiately at Ridgewater College. After two baseball seasons there and successful stints with the Thunder Bay Border Cats of the Northwoods League during the summer, Vogt joined the Minnesota Golden Gophers baseball program in 2007, which gave the central Minnesotan the chance to play under acclaimed head coach John Anderson.

At the same time he was throwing for Ridgewater, Vogt was also earning All-American status as a wrestler for the Warriors, taking second at 197 pounds in the 2006 National Junior College Athletic Association Wrestling Championships.

Moving to collegiate athletics was not much of an adjustment for Vogt, who grew up emulating Aaron, who was also a multi-sport athlete at Sauk Centre.

“I knew what was coming my way, I knew how to work, and he paved the way for me,” Vogt said. “He really did. I had more fun in college working out because it’s higher-level guys that were always there to work. … You knew you had guys that would push each other.”

These impressive achievements on a national scale were the result of years of fostering a desire to win. It was not so much the idea of winning that captivated Vogt as much as the idea of not losing.

“It drives me a lot,” he said. “I hate losing. I absolutely hate it.”

But while competitiveness is at the core of Vogt’s identity, he was not selfish in his pursuit for greatness. He understood that being a part of a bigger picture was essential to reaching goals, and he is grateful for the lifelong relationship he has had the chance to build through athletics.

“I love winning, but the guys, your teammates, the friends you have for life, the people you meet and get to know, that’s the huge thing,” Vogt said.

Teamwork was maybe never more present for the well-rounded Streeter than in football, where he played linebacker but also lined up at quarterback, tight end and even punter.

And even now, nearly 20 years after graduating from high school, Vogt and athletic performance go hand-in-hand, as he pitches during the amateur baseball season.

“I still love it, and that’s why I’m still playing,” he said. “That feeling of knowing you could almost singlehandedly win a game, it’s a different feeling, it’s a high. When you just have it and you know you can’t be touched, that’s fun.”

Vogt may not be the physical specimen that dominated in several sports anymore, but the experiences he has gained through a prolific career of activity participation help him to be what he is now: a leader.

“I had great guys to look up to all the way through, and I want to be one of those guys that these guys are looking up to, whatever they need,” he said.

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