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Berserkers prove their strength at State tournament

Published on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 by BY PAM STEVENS | MANAGING EDITOR

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MTV camera crews followed Berserker Jack Reeves to early morning seminary at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as part of their documentary in the lives of Lake wrestlers. Reeves is on the far right.


MTV’s filming of the Lake Stevens wrestling team has been an exciting experience for many who live here in Lake Stevens. Seeing film crews following kids in and out of stores, churches and other everyday events has turned a lot of heads around town in the last two and a half months.

But why Lake Stevens?

Of course, the biggest reason is Lake Stevens’ own hometown boy gone Hollywood star, Chris Pratt, who was a part of the Viking wrestling team over  a decade ago and who has seen what hard work and good coaching can do for a young kid.
“I was part of it and have continued to blossom every year and will continue to blossom, in part, due to the wrestling program,” Pratt said.

Pratt, who is the Executive Producer of the MTV documentary and also the creator, along with Coach Brent Barnes, first sold the idea to MTV as a series called “Berserkers”.

Berserkers is the name the wrestlers gave themselves years ago.
“I’ve heard the word “Berserker” (from the MTV Producer),” Viking wrestling coach Brent Barnes explained. “It is the name of the ultimate Viking Warriors. It came from Viking mythology and I stole it when I first started coaching as a way to make my guys feel like special warriors.”
Pratt goes on to explain.

“Berserker is a North Scot that fights in a trancelike state,” Pratt said. “Berserkers are known as Vikings, and being a Lake Stevens Viking, a Berserker is the unofficial mascot of the wrestling team. I just really liked the title. That’s how I pitched it to MTV.”

According to Pratt the name has been unofficially changed to ‘On the Mat’.

That focus has been seen time and time again at the hundreds of matches Barnes’ wrestlers have competed in and their focus has paid off with seven state titles and 21 district titles in Barnes’ 24 years of coaching at Lake Stevens High School.
That focus is what brought MTV camera crews to the streets of Lake Stevens and into the lives of our son-to-be famous wrestlers.

“MTV is focusing on a lot of different aspects of my life as well as my wrestling career. When they interview me I get asked millions of questions whether it be about how my grades are to my relationship with my parents,” titled wrestlers Eric Soler said. “Lately they have been focusing a lot on how my injured knee is affecting my ability to wrestle and how it is affecting me emotionally. I think they are focusing on these things because they want a full look on the life of a normal kid who just happens to be competing at a very high level in the sport of wrestling and has dedicated nearly his whole life to a sport that many people consider ‘silly’ or a waste of time.”

Pratt is excited to see the final product and will be part of the editing process. His hope is that the world will see how hard these kids work at a sport they love.

“These kids are hyper-focused,” he said.

Hopefully that’s what the documentary will prove.

The third and final part of the series will appear in next week’s Lake Stevens Journal.

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