Norsemen’s Wenzel Playing With Purpose
Mesabi Range Freshman Driven by Second Chance
VIRGINIA, Minn- The 2017 football season marks the Mesabi Range Norsemen’s first winning record since 2010, and at the heart of the program’s turnaround is former Denfeld Hunter and Proctor Rail Terrance Wenzel.
This past May, Wenzel’s life was forever altered. He was involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, taking the life of his friend, 19–year–old, Axton Dylan Whitfield.
Wenzel remembers, “Every morning I get out of bed I look at his picture and I know that truly I was lucky to be here and God did give me another chance and I just know that I truly can’t afford to let this chance go.”
A tragedy that has driven him on and off the football field every day since.
Wenzel continues, “Just every game, every kickoff, I always look up in the sky just to look because Dylan, his real name Axton which means blackbird in his culture, it’s just nice to have that around and just to know that I’m striving for something and have him above me.”
Terrance’s on the field impact speaks for itself as he helped lead the Norsemen to a 7 -4 regular season record, and a berth in the Red Grange Bowl, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Sophomore Center and Captain Ahmad Queider says, “He’s great, he’s great. He’s just a really big asset to our team.”
Wenzel adds, “If you want to move on, this is the game for us to make plays and for us to do big things. And if we truly do want to move on, then you have to live up to the moment and you have to be able to play under pressure.”
As with most junior college athletes, Terrance is determined to play at an even higher level, knowing that no matter where he ends up, Axton’s memory will always be with him.
“It truly changed my life, and I just hope that one day I can change other people’s lives without them having to go through something like this because it truly changed mine.”