The Guillotine
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State Wrestling Tournament Preview

February 25, 2008

www.mshsl.org

All three team champions return to defend titles;
18 individual champions return seeking more gold


All three 2007 team champions return to defend their titles: the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons in Class A; the St. Michael-Albertville Knights in Class AA; and the Apple Valley Eagles in Class AAA. St. Michael-Albertville is looking for its fifth consecutive title, while Apple Valley is hoping for its third. If Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City wins, it would be the second.

In the individual competition, 18 champions return for more gold medals -- seven in Class AAA, four in Class AA, and seven in Class A.

Three teams are their making their first appearances at the tournament: Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther and Kenyon-Wanamingo in Class A, and Tartan of Oakdale in Class AAA. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Canby and Apple Valley are making their 27th overall appearances at the tournament, and Apple Valley is making its 26th consecutive trip.

The 2008 State Wrestling Tournament opens Wednesday, February 27, and runs through Saturday, March 1, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Class A Team Highlights

Five teams that competed in the 2007 tournament, including the defending champions from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (Section 5), return to this year's field. The other returning qualifiers are: Aitkin (Section 7); Canby (Section 3); Jackson County Central (Section 2); and Frazee (Section 8).

The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons return to make their fifth consecutive and sixth overall appearance. The Falcons will face the Frazee Hornets, who they defeated in last year’s championship 33-21, in this year’s quarterfinals.

Frazee is making its third consecutive and 16th overall appearance. The Hornets, who were the runners-up for the past two years, are in the hunt for their fourth title. They won previously in 1992, 1999, and 2002.

The Jackson County Central Huskies, which earned the Class AA consolation title as a co-op with Southwest Star Concept of Okabena last year, returns, this year without a co-op partner for the first time ever. They made four appearances as Jackson County Central/Southwest Star Concept and won titles in 1999 and 2000. Between 1993 and 1997, Jackson made three additional appearances in a co-op with Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield.

The Canby Lancers have the most tournament experience in the Class A field. They’re making their fourth consecutive and 27th overall appearance. They earned consolation honors last year and are in the hunt for their ninth title. They won previously in 1976, 1977, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1994, 1995, and 2006.

Aitkin is the final team returning from the 2007 field. The Gobblers, who placed fourth last year, are making their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance.

The Eagles of New York Mills (Section 6) are returning after a one-year hiatus to make their fourth appearance. Both Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther (Section 4) and Kenyon-Wanamingo (Section 1) are making their debut appearances at this year’s tournament.

The 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Thursday Class A quarterfinal pairings and final rankings by The Guillotine: No. 10 New York Mills (17-5) vs. No. 11 Aitkin (20-3); No. 8 Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther (24-2) vs. No. 2 Canby (27-2); No. 1 Jackson County Central (23-6) vs. No. 5 Kenyon-Wanamingo (25-2); No. 3 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (24-4) vs. No. 7 Frazee (13-5).

Class AA Team Highlights

The Knights of St. Michael-Albertville (Section 5) return as the four-time defending champions. This is the 10th consecutive and 18th overall appearance for the Knights. In addition to titles in 2004 through 2007, St. Michael-Albertville also won championships in 1996 and 1997. Perham (Section 8) is the only other team returning from the 2007 field. The Yellowjackets, who lost to St. Michael-Albertville 28-25 in last year’s championship, will have their chance for revenge when they tangle with the Knights in this year’s quarterfinals. Perham is making its second consecutive and fourth overall appearance.

The Wolves of Milaca/Faith Christian (Section 7) and the Panthers of Scott West (Section 2) both return after a one-year absence. Milaca/Faith Christian is making its eighth appearance overall and Scott West is making its ninth. Scott West is comprised of students from Belle Plaine, Jordan, and Holy Family Academy of Belle Plaine.

Foley (Section 6) and Simley of Inver Grove Heights (Section 4) have the most tournament appearances in the Class AA field. The Foley Falcons are making their 15th appearance, but their first since 1998. They won previous titles in 1989, 1993, and 1994. The Spartans of Simley return after a two-year absence to make their 14th appearance. They are in the hunt for their fifth championship, having won previously in 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1992.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville (Section 1) also returns after a one-year absence to make its fifth appearance under this name. Plainview also made one additional appearance in 1985.

The Cobras of Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin (Section 3) are the final team in the Class AA field. They are making their third appearance as a co-op, but first since 2003.

The 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Thursday Class A quarterfinal pairings and final rankings by The Guillotine: No. 3 Foley (33-2) vs. No. 8 Milaca/Faith Christian (33-5); No. 2 Simley (28-2) vs. No. 9 Windom/Mt. Lake/Butterfield-Odin (22-5); No. 5 Scott West (27-4) vs. No. 10 Plainview-Elgin-Millville (29-7); No. 4 St. Michael-Albertville (18-6) vs. No. 1 Perham (28-0).

Class AAA Team Highlights

Apple Valley (Section 3) returns as the two-time defending champion. The Eagles are making their 26th consecutive and 27th overall tournament appearance. In addition to the past two years, they won previous team championships in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.

Two other teams return from the 2007 qualifying field. The Tigers of Albert Lea Area (Section 1) are looking to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish. This is their third consecutive and ninth overall appearance. The Tigers won previous championships in 1977 and 1981. The Trojans of Wayzata (Section 6), who earned the consolation title last year, also return. They are making their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance.

Prior Lake (Section 2) and Centennial of Circle Pines (Section 5) are both returning after a one-year hiatus. The Lakers of Prior Lake are making their second appearance, while the Cougars of Centennial are making their seventh.

Buffalo (Section 8) and Coon Rapids (Section 7) are the final Class AAA teams with previous tournament experience. The Buffalo Bison are making their eighth appearance, but their first since 1995. The Coon Rapids Cardinals are also returning after an extended absence. This is only their second appearance and first since 1986.

Tartan of Oakdale (Section 4) is the final qualifying school. The Titans are making their debut tournament appearance.

The 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Thursday Class A quarterfinal pairings and final rankings by The Guillotine: unranked Wayzata (18-12) vs. No. 3 Coon Rapids (23-2); unranked Tartan (17-11) vs. No. 1 Apple Valley (34-1); No. 5 Prior Lake (24-3) vs. No. 4 Albert Lea Area (25-7); No. 9 Centennial (29-8) vs. No. 12 Buffalo (19-12).

Class A Individual Highlights

103 pounds -- Chase Levos (35-4) of St. Clair, fifth at 103 pounds last year, is the only returning qualifier. No competitors enter with a perfect record.

112 pounds -- Four returning medalists seek the title in this weight class. Leading the field are defending champion Matt Benson (32-1) of Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley/Chokio-Alberta, and Clint Poster (36-4) of Pierz, last year’s winner at 103 pounds. Grant Hegge (31-3) of Southland of Adams was third at 103 pounds and Ben Meyer (37-1) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City placed fifth at 112 pounds. No one had a perfect record in this class.

119 pounds -- Tony Vaske (40-0) of the River Valley Wildcats, Springfield, enters with the only perfect record in this class. Vaske finished fourth at 103 pounds last year. Ethan Kern (38-3) of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale placed third at 112 pounds.

125 pounds -- Six medalists compete for the title at 125 pounds. Luke Amsden (34-2) of the River Valley Wildcats looks to improve on his third-place finish at this weight last year. The remaining five all move up from lower weight classes: Jason Sunderman (28-5) of LeSueur-Henderson was runner-up at 112 pounds in the Class AA tournament; Mike Lucero (25-6) of Frazee finished fourth at 112 pounds; Jordan Christian (34-3) of Paynesville Area was fifth at 119 pounds; Ryan Swenson (37-2) of Dawson-Boyd placed sixth at 119 pounds; and Caleb Diercks (35-5) of Goodhue finished sixth at 112 pounds. No competitors enter the tournament with perfect records in this class.

130 pounds -- Cole Von Ohlen (40-1) of Jackson County Central, last year’s champion at 119 pounds in the Class AA tournament, leads the field in this class. One other qualifier returns: Micah Olson (33-4) of Trinity School at River Ridge of Bloomington, who placed sixth at 125 pounds. Jon Hegge (23-0) of Southland of Adams is the lone competitor with an undefeated record.

135 pounds -- Two past runners-up from lower weight classes return to wrestle at 135 pounds. Casey Field (34-2) of Yellow Medicine East of Granite Falls competed at 125 pounds, and Jesse Westphal (38-1) of Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton competed at 130 pounds. Nathan Lexvold (38-0) of Kenyon-Wanamingo enters the competition with the only perfect record.

140 pounds -- Two returning medalists from the 140-pound class compete for the title. Jake Bonsack (33-3) of United South Central of Wells placed third last year, while Alex Kontz (40-2) of Canby finished fourth. Trevor Krueger (37-4) of Barnesville is the other returning medal-winner, having finished fourth at 130 pounds last year. There are no perfect records in this class.

145 pounds -- Cameron Jurgenson (40-0) of Dawson-Boyd, who finished third at 130 pounds last year, leads the field. Three other medal-winners also return: Torey Stewart (38-3) of Jackson County Central, runner-up at 135 pounds in Class AA; Tanner Pierce (13-1) of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, third at 152 pounds; and Tucker Freeman (35-3) of Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther, sixth at 130 pounds. Jurgenson is the only undefeated competitor.

152 pounds -- Kevin Steinhaus (43-0) of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, who won the title at 145 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. Andrew Lockrem (37-4) of Frazee, runner-up at 145 pounds, also moves up. Gaven Schlaak (31-9) of New Richland-H-E-G looks to improve on last year’s runner-up finish at 152 pounds. Chad Curry (35-2) of Chatfield, sixth-place medalist at 140 pounds, returns as well. Steinhaus boasts the only flawless record.

160 pounds -- Two competitors return from other weight classes. Matthew Pfarr (36-2) of LeSueur-Henderson placed fifth at 145 pounds in the Class AA tournament, and Mitchell Hagen claimed a sixth-place finish at 152 pounds. No competitors enter with a perfect record.

171 pounds —Travis Rutt (41-1) of Jackson County Central, champion at 160 pounds in the Class AA tournament, seeks a title in a new weight class. Matt Christensen (39-0) of Aitkin placed sixth at this weight class last year. Christensen and Eric Croatt (38-0) of Ortonville enter the competition undefeated.

189 pounds -- Five qualifiers return in search of a title. Aaron Norgren (36-0) of Maple River of Mapleton was the runner-up at 160 pounds last year. Eric Ryan (39-1) of Goodhue placed third at 171 pounds in this class, while Caleb Lines (40-3) of Jackson County Central finished third at 171 pounds in Class AA. Two competitors return at 189 pounds: Nic Leither (38-1) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City and Tayler Yliniemi (25-3) of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, who finished third and sixth, respectively. Norgren is the only wrestler with a perfect record.

215 pounds -- Parker Brand (40-0) of Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson, who placed third at 189 pounds in the Class AA tournament, leads the field. Three other medalists at 215 pounds return to improve on last year. Nate Haynes (33-6) of Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther placed third, Josh Seley (27-8) of Lake-Park-Audubon finished fourth, and Matt Meuleners (37-0) of Norwood-Young America was fifth. Brand and Meuleners are the only competitors with unblemished records.

Heavyweight -- Defending champion Nick Mackenthun (28-1) of Norwood-Young America and Nick Fischer (35-2) of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, winner at 215 pounds, both seek another title. Two other heavyweight medalists return in Cody Kinney (42-1) of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, and Chris Steffenson (31-5) of Isle/Onamia; they placed fifth and sixth, respectively. No wrestlers enter with a perfect record.

Badger/Greenbush-Middle River leads the Class A field with eight qualifiers. Three teams -- Jackson County Central, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City and Aitkin -- each have qualified seven wrestlers. Seven teams are tied for third highest with six qualified wrestlers each.

Class AA Individual Highlights

103 pounds -- Garret Garness (37-5) of Kasson-Mantorville returns to defend his title. Matt Nelson (31-2) of Big Lake, who placed third, last year, also returns. There were no perfect records in this weight class.

112 pounds -- Justin Nelson (36-2) of Big Lake, who was the runner-up in this weight class last year, is the highest returning qualifier. Two other medalists from the 103-pound weight class also return: Alex Peck (34-5) of Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park, runner-up; and Zach Campbell (37-3) of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, fifth. No one had a perfect record in this class.

119 pounds -- Chad Henle (34-1) of New London-Spicer, who placed fourth at 112 pounds last year, is one of three medalists to return. Brandon Seppelt (35-6) of Foley was sixth at 112 pounds, and Pat LaVasseur (20-1) of the Hutchinson Tigers was sixth at 125 pounds. Luke Schlee (25-0) of Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland boasts the only perfect record.

125 pounds -- David Thorn (39-2) of St. Michael-Albertville, who was the champion in the 112-pound weight class last year, returns in search of another title. Four other medal-winners also return: Ryan Timmerman (37-1) of St. Peter, runner-up at 119 pounds; Sam Warne (34-8) of Perham, fifth at 112 pounds; Justin Reinsma (38-4) of Fulda/Murray County Central, fifth at 119 pounds; and Greg Naschansky (27-6) of Plainview-Elgin-Millville, sixth at 103 pounds. Kurt Ehrhorn (17-0) of Grand Rapids is the only undefeated competitor.

130 pounds -- Three medal-winners return: Jacob Bowland (41-1) of Foley, fourth at 125 pounds; Sam Fischenich (36-4) of Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin, fifth at 125 pounds; and Steve Keogh (37-5) of Thief River Falls/Goodridge, sixth at 119 pounds. No one had a perfect record in this weight class.

135 pounds -- Joe Selly (39-2) of Montgomery-Lonsdale/Le Center, who won the title at 130 pounds last year, returns in search of another first-place medal. Mark Erickson (41-0) of Roseau also returns. He was the runner-up at 125 pounds last year and boasts this year’s only unblemished record.

140 pounds -- Tony Valek (29-0) of Scott West is the highest returning qualifier. He was the champion at 135 pounds last year and has this year’s only perfect record. Four additional 2007 medalists also return: Eric Yngsdal (40-2) of Byron, third at 135 pounds; A.J. Stevens (35-6) of Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin, fifth at 135 pounds; Jake Anderson (32-1) of Annandale/Maple Lake, sixth in this weight class; and Mike Land (25-2) of Cloquet, sixth at 130 pounds.

145 pounds -- Tee Baker (30-4) of Big Lake is the only returning competitor. He placed fifth at 140 pounds in 2007. Kevin O’Brien (37-0) of Becker has the only perfect record in this class.

152 pounds -- Blaine Coyle (17-3) of Fillmore Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton is the only returning qualifier. He was sixth at 145 pounds last year. No one had a perfect record in this class.

160 pounds -- Eric Reinert (37-3) of Watertown-Mayer looks to improve on his third-place finish in this class in 2007. Jake Wetzel (38-2) of Montgomery-Lonsdale/Le Center, who placed fourth at 152 pounds, also returns. There were no perfect records in this class.

171 pounds -- Mac Stoll (38-5) of Perham is the only returning medal-winner. He was sixth at 160 pounds last year. No one had a perfect record in this class.

189 pounds -- Drew Ross (35-0) of Fergus Falls is hoping to improve on last year’s runner-up showing in this class. Kody Kramer (31-5) of Fulda/Murray County Central, who was fourth at 171 pounds last year, also returns. Ross has this year’s only unblemished record.

215 pounds -- Two medal-winners return: Kyle Schumm (36-6) of St. Michael-Albertville, runner-up; and Matt Groff (33-0) of Mahtomedi, fourth. Both competed in this weight class last year. Groff has the only perfect record.

Heavyweight -- Three medalists who competed in this weight class last year return: Carter Ash (42-0) of Milaca/Faith Christian, fourth; Cody Socher (37-4) of Delano, fifth; and Zach Loppnow (33-1) of Lake City, sixth. Ash has this year’s only perfect record.

Simley leads the field with 13 qualified wrestlers, followed by Perham with 10 and Totino-Grace of Fridley with eight.

Class AAA Individual Highlights

103 pounds -- Eric Devos (42-0) of Apple Valley returns to defend his title with the only perfect record.

112 pounds -- Cody Hansen (39-0) of Albert Lea Area, who took runner-up honors at 103 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. He also boasts the only unblemished record. Two other medalists from the 103-pound weight class also return: Tanner Carlisle (37-5) of Prior Lake, fifth, and Zach Rohr (32-10) of Hastings, sixth.

119 pounds -- Destin McCauley (41-0) of Apple Valley returns in search of more gold. He won the title at 112 pounds last year. Three other medal-winners also return: Dylan Ness (36-1) of Bloomington Jefferson/Kennedy, third at 103 pounds; Charlie Kirscht (32-3) of Alexandria, fourth at 103 pounds; and Trent Herold (36-3) of St. Francis, fifth at 112 pounds. McCauley boasts the only unblemished record.

125 pounds -- Four medal-winners return, including the runner-up at 119 pounds, Tom Kelliher (39-3) of Apple Valley. The other returning medalists are: Danny Zilverberg (41-1) of Wayzata, fourth at 112 pounds; Robby Fisher (33-5) of Bloomington Jefferson/Kennedy, fourth at 119 pounds; and Mason Young (33-8) of Henry Sibley of Mendota Heights, sixth at 119 pounds. There were no perfect records in this weight class.

130 pounds -- Four medalists return: Justin LaValle (39-4) of Apple Valley, third at 112 pounds; Luke Vaith (35-3) of Hastings, third at 119 pounds; Nick Lingwall (35-2) of Brainerd/Pillager, fourth at 135 pounds; and Hector Millan (37-4) of Owatonna, fifth in this weight class. No one has a perfect record.

135 pounds -- Matt Mincey (41-1) of Apple Valley, who was the champion at 125 pounds last year, leads this group of qualifiers. Three other medal-winners also return: Trey Bertram (36-6) of Hastings, third at 125 pounds; Logan Kortan (37-4) of Albert Lea Area, fourth at 125 pounds; and Mike Minske (24-12) of Rochester Mayo, fifth at 119 pounds. John Amundson (35-0) of Alexandria has the only perfect record.

140 pounds -- Two champions return in search of more gold: Derek Schreiner (37-0) of Wayzata won at 119 pounds last year, and Josh Wiseman (40-1) of Champlin Park won at 130 pounds. Schreiner has the only perfect record. Jarret Hoeppner (36-6) of Apple Valley also returns. He placed sixth at 130 pounds in 2007.

145 pounds -- Jake Begin (32-4) of Anoka, who was the runner-up at 130 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. Carter Adams (37-4) of Coon Rapids and Tyler Spiczka (38-3) of Sauk Rapids-Rice also return. Adams was third at 135 pounds last year, and Spiczka was sixth in this weight class. No one had a perfect record.

 152 pounds -- Jake Deitchler (34-0) of Anoka, who was the champion at 145 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. Brendan Eichmann (35-8) of Hastings is the other returning medal-winner; he was fourth in this weight class. Deitchler enters with the only perfect record.

160 pounds – Two medalists from other weight classes compete at 160 pounds this year. Shamus O’Grady (38-3) of Coon Rapids was runner-up at 152 pounds. Adam Petersen (33-1) of Hastings finished fourth at 145 pounds. There are no undefeated competitors in this class.

171 pounds -- Brandon Bahr (35-4) of Bemidji is the only returning qualifier. He finished fourth at 160 pounds in 2007. No one has a perfect record.

189 pounds -- Billy Morgan (36-0) of Rosemount looks to better his runner-up showing in this class last year. Tyler Kennedy (25-3) of Park of Cottage Grove, who placed sixth at 171 pounds, is the other returning qualifier. Morgan enters with the only perfect record.

215 pounds -- Jake Kahnke (42-0) of Prior Lake, the 2007 champion at 189 pounds, leads the field. Two medalists from this weight class return to improve on last year’s performance: Tony Nelson (38-1) of Cambridge-Isanti and Brian Leonhardt (37-3) of Spring Lake Park, who placed third and fifth, respectively. Kahnke and Andrew Hanske (37-0) of Minnetonka boast the only undefeated records.

Heavyweight -- Defending champion Sam Maresh (42-0) of Champlin Park is the only returning medalist in this weight class and the only competitor with a perfect record.

Apple Valley and Prior Lake each have qualified 10 wrestlers. Four teams -- Albert Lea Area, Alexandria, Hastings, and Bloomington Jefferson -- each have qualified eight wrestlers. Coon Rapids has seven qualified wrestlers.

The Schedule and Ticket Information

This year’s schedule starts with the Class A individual preliminaries at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27. They will be followed by the Class AA individual preliminaries at 6 p.m., and the Class AAA individual preliminaries at 8 p.m.

Thursday morning, the Class A individual championship quarterfinals will begin at 9 a.m. The Class AA and Class AAA individual championship quarterfinals will follow at 10 and 11 a.m. At noon, the Class A individual wrestlebacks will begin. They will be followed by the Class AA and Class AAA wrestlebacks at 1 and 2 p.m.

The evening session on Thursday will include the team quarterfinals for all classes. That session starts at 5 p.m.

On Friday, February 29, the Class A individual semifinals and consolation quarterfinals will begin at 9 a.m. Class AA individual semifinals and consolation quarterfinals are scheduled for 10 a.m., and the Class AAA individual semifinals and consolation quarterfinals will start at 11 a.m.

Later on Friday afternoon, the Class A individual consolation semifinals start at noon. The Class AA and Class AAA individual consolation semifinals will follow at 1 and 2 p.m.

At 5 p.m., the team consolation semifinals will begin for all three classes. The team championship semifinals will conclude Friday’s sessions. They begin at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be four rounds of competition. Round One starts at 10 a.m. and will consist of all team consolation and third-place matches in all classes. Round Two will start approximately at noon and will entail all individual fifth-place semifinals and third-place matches in all classes. Round Three begins approximately at 3:30 p.m. and will encompass all individual championship matches in all classes. Round Four will follow the conclusion of the Round Three awards (approximately 7 p.m.) and will consist of all team championship matches in all classes. Award ceremonies will be held at the end of each round.

Other than the first matches of each session, all subsequent rounds will start immediately following the conclusion of the previous competition in the session. Thus, most of the start times are approximate. Fans should bear that schedule in mind in planning their arrival at Xcel Energy Center.

Ticket prices are $10 per adult and $7 per student for each session. Daily passes are available for $18 for adults and $13 for students. Season passes, good for the entire tournament, are available to adults for $54 and to students for $39.