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State Wrestling Tournament: All three teams, 24 individuals return to defend titles

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Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

     All three of the 2012 team champions return to defend their respective titles: the Jackson County Central Huskies in Class A; the Simley Spartans in Class AA; and the Apple Valley Eagles in Class AAA. Jackson County Central is looking for its fourth consecutive title, Simley of Inver Grove Heights is looking for its sixth consecutive title, and Apple Valley is looking for their eighth consecutive championship.

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      Woodbury, which competes in Class AAA, is the only team making its first appearance. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Apple Valley returns for its 31st consecutive and 32nd overall appearance.

      In the individual competition, 24 champions return for more gold medals — eight in Class AAA, 10 in Class AA, and six in Class A.

      The 2013 State Wrestling Tournament opens Thursday, Feb. 28, and runs through Saturday, March 2, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The three-day format features all of the team dual competition on Thursday, followed by exclusive individual competition Friday and Saturday.

      This is the fifth year that the teams have been seeded. The 24 coaches of the section champions logged onto a special page of the League Web site and each coach ranked the other teams one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top five teams were seeded. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Craig Perry announced the top five seeds. A blind draw established the opponent for the top three seeded teams. Numbers four and five will compete against each other.

      Class A Team Highlights

      Three teams that competed in the 2012 tournament, including the three-time defending champions from Jackson County Central (Section 2), return to this year’s field. The Huskies are also the top-seeded team this year. Jackson County Central is making its fourth consecutive and fifth overall appearance under this name. In addition to the past three years, the Huskies also claimed top honors in 2008. Jackson County Central, as a co-op with Southwest Star Concept of Okabena, made four additional appearances between 1998 and 2007 and won titles in 1999 and 2000. Jackson also made three appearances as a co-op with Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield between 1993 and 1997.

      The other returning teams are Pierz (Section 7) and Barnesville (Section 6). The unseeded Pierz Pioneers, who lost in the consolation semifinals last year, are making their third consecutive and 10th overall appearance. If they win it would be their third championship; they won previous back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005.

      The Barnesville Trojans are making their second consecutive and overall appearance. They are unseeded this year and are looking to improve on last year’s sixth-place showing.

      The other teams in the Class A field are: Frazee (Section 8), Sibley East of Arlington (Section 4), Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (Section 5), Chatfield (Section 1), and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (Section 3).

      After a one-year absence, the Frazee Hornets enter this year’s tournament as the No. 2 seed. This year marks their 20th appearance and they’re hoping to capture their fifth title. They won previously in 1992, 1999, 2002, and 2011. The unseeded Wolverines of Sibley East are making their fourth appearance; their last was in 2007.

      Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, this year’s No. 3 seed, returns for its eighth appearance but first since 2009. The Falcons won one previous championship in 2007. The No. 5-seeded Chatfield Gophers return for the first time since 2000. They are making their third appearance.

      The Fighting Saints of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg are the final qualifying team. They earned the No. 4 seed this year and are looking for their second title. They took top honors in their only other appearance in 2009.

      The 11 a.m. Thursday Class A seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication are: Pierz (28-3 No. 7) vs. No. 2 Frazee (14-0 No. 2); Sibley East (22-8 No. 9) vs. No. 3 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (22-1 No. 3); Barnesville (23-1 No. 6) vs. No. 1 Jackson County Central (21-2 No. 1); No. 5 Chatfield (29-1 No. 8) vs. No. 4 Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (16-2 No. 4).

      Class AA Team Highlights

      The Spartans of Simley (Section 4) return as the five-time defending champions. This is the sixth consecutive and 19th overall appearance for the Spartans, who are the No. 2 seed this year. In addition to the past five years, Simley also won championships in 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1992.

      Three other teams also return from the 2012 field: Foley (Section 6); Perham (Section 8); and Kasson-Mantorville (Section 1).

      The Foley Falcons are the No. 3 seed this year and are looking to improve on last year’s third-place showing. This is their sixth consecutive and 20th overall appearance and they won previous titles in 1989, 1993 and 1994. The unseeded Perham Yellowjackets, who lost in the consolation semifinals in 2012, return for a second consecutive year. This is their seventh appearance.

      The KoMets of Kasson-Mantorville, who are making their fourth consecutive and seventh overall appearance, finished fourth last year. They enter this year’s tournament as the No. 1 seed. Chisago Lakes Area of Lindstrom (Section 7), Totino-Grace of Fridley (Section 5), Adrian Area, which includes students from Ellsworth (Section 3), and New Prague (Section 2), are the other teams competing in the Class AA field. The Wildcats of Chisago Lakes Area are making their fourth appearance, but first since 1984, and the Eagles of Totino-Grace are making their 11th appearance, but first since 2010. The Wildcats and Eagles are both unseeded this year.

      The Dragons of Adrian Area, who are the No. 5 seed this year, return after a two-year absence to make their 12th appearance. The No. 4-seeded New Prague Trojans are making their third appearance, but first since 1999.

      The 9 a.m. Thursday Class AA seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication are: Chisago Lakes Area (19-7 No. 12) vs. No. 2 Simley (28-6 No. 2); Totino-Grace (12-1 No. 7) vs. No. 3 Foley (22-4 No. 3); Perham (22-6 No. 10) vs. No. 1 Kasson-Mantorville (26-4 No. 1); No. 5 Adrian Area (29-3 No. 5) vs. No. 4 New Prague (25-3 No. 4).

      Class AAA Team Highlights

      Apple Valley (Section 3) returns as the seven-time defending champion. The Eagles, who are unusually the No. 2 seed, are making their 31st consecutive and 32nd overall tournament appearance. In addition to the past seven years, they also won team championships in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.

      Three other teams also return from the 2012 qualifying field. St. Michael-Albertville (Section 7) returns for its 15th consecutive and 23rd overall appearance. The Knights placed second last year and are the No. 1 seed this year. If they win it would be their seventh title. They won previously in 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Willmar (Section 6), which is not seeded this year, is making its second consecutive and fourth overall appearance. The Cardinals lost in the consolation semifinals of the 2012 tournament. Prior Lake (Section 2) is the final returning team. The Lakers, who are the No. 3 seed this year, are making their third consecutive and fifth overall appearance. They’re hoping to improve on last year’s third-place showing.

      The other teams competing in Class AAA are: Moorhead (Section 8); Woodbury (Section 4); Centennial of Circle Pines (Section 5); and Owatonna (Section 1). The Moorhead Spuds return to tournament action for the first time since 1981. They are not seeded this year and are making their eighth appearance. The Cougars of Centennial are making their 10th appearance, but first since 2011, and the Owatonna Huskies are making their 11th appearance, but first since 2010. Owatonna and Centennial are seeded No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. If the Huskies win, it would be their third championship; they won previously in 1998 and 2005.

      The Royals of Woodbury are the only team making their debut tournament appearance.

      The 9 a.m. Thursday Class AAA seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication are: Moorhead (13-4 No. 9) vs. No. 2 Apple Valley (24-3 No. 2); Woodbury (19-6 unranked) vs. No. 3 Prior Lake (25-4 No. 3); Willmar (14-9 unranked) vs. No. 1 St. Michael-Albertville (30-1 No. 1); No. 5 Centennial (26-7 unranked) vs. No. 4 Owatonna (22-6 No. 5).

      Class A Individual Highlights

      106 pounds —There are no returning medalists and no perfect records in this weight class.

      113 pounds — There are four returning medalists, including the 2012 champion at 106 pounds, Cameron Sykora (33-0) of Border West. The other three returning medal-winners are: Joey Majerus (33-4) of Zumbrota-Mazeppa, third at 106 pounds; Conrad Kondos (32-6) of Breckenridge/Campbell-Tintah, fourth at 106 pounds; and Zach Scott (33-5) of Holdingford, sixth at 106 pounds. Sykora has the only perfect record.

      120 pounds — Shane Novak (36-4) of New York Mills, last year’s champion at 113 pounds, leads the field. Three additional medal-winners also return: James Goman (36-4) of Trinity School at River Ridge of Bloomington, runner-up at 113 pounds; Hank Friedrichs (42-1) of Chatfield, fifth at 106 pounds; and Louie Sanders (32-4) of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Area, fifth at 113 pounds. There are no perfect records.

      126 pounds — Quinten Berres (35-1) of Kimball Area and Tyler Keller (26-5) of Medford both return. They placed third and fourth, respectively, at 113 pounds last year. No one has a perfect record.

      132 pounds — Dylan Herman (33-3) of United South Central of Wells, third at 126 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. The only other returning medalists are: Gus McCarthy (26-1) of Border West, fourth at 126 pounds; and Eliot Jurries (37-4) of Jackson County Central, fifth at 126 pounds. Austin Brockhoff (23-0) of Sibley East of Arlington boasts the only unblemished record.

      138 pounds — Taner Trembley (37-2) of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Area returns in search of more gold. He won at 132 pounds last year. Two additional medal-winners also return: Logan Peterson (40-2) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, third at 132 pounds; and Marcus Hamer (34-6) of Kimball Area, sixth at 132 pounds. There are no perfect records.

      145 pounds — Four medalists return: Larry Bomstad (41-0) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, runner-up in this weight class; Paden Moore (35-5) of Jackson County Central, fifth in this weight class; Tanner Rohlik (37-4) of Wabasso/Red Rock Central, fifth at 138 pounds; and Cain Renner (25-7) of Eden Valley-Watkins, sixth at 138 pounds. Bomstad boasts the only perfect record.

      152 pounds — Luke Norland (23-4) of Jackson County Central is the top returning qualifier. He’s looking to improve on last year’s fourth-place showing in this weight class. Two other medalists also return: Chris Pfarr (35-3) of LeSueur-Henderson, sixth in this weight class; and Garret Hoffner (41-0) of Mahnomen/Waubun, sixth at 145 pounds. Hoffner and Zachary Carlson (40-0) of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg both enter the tournament with unblemished records.

      160 pounds — Adam Cooling (40-0), who took top honors at 145 pounds last year, returns with the only perfect record. Jordan Rothers (39-1) of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg is the only other returning medalist; he earned runner-up honors in this weight class last year.

      170 pounds — Last year’s champion at 160 pounds, Darick Vancura (39-2) of Jackson County Central, returns in search of more gold. Aaron Bates of Sibley East also returns; he placed sixth at 160 pounds last year. There are no perfect records.

      182 pounds — Three medalists return: Patrick Rooney (37-0) of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, third at 170 pounds; Collin Huckbody (33-1) of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis, fourth at 170 pounds; and Will Balow (23-2) of Lake City, fifth at 160 pounds. Rooney has the only perfect record.

      195 pounds — The defending champion in this weight class, Nathan Rose (38-0) of Sibley East, returns. Justin Viss (32-7) of Chatfield, who placed sixth in this weight class in 2012, also returns. Rose boasts the only unblemished record.

      220 pounds — Two medal-winners from the 195-pound weight class return: Christopher Zimmer (20-5) of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis, third; and Tyler Schlosser (31-2) of Parkers Prairie, fourth. There are no perfect records.

      285 pounds — Lance Briard (33-0) in River Valley is the only returning medalist. He placed fifth in this weight class last year and has this year’s only perfect record.

      Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City leads the Class A field with 10 qualifiers. Frazee has nine, and Chatfield, Jackson County Central, and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg qualified eight apiece.

      Class AA Individual Highlights

      106 pounds — Trevor Schultz (38-4) of Fairmont/Martin County West is the lone returning qualifier at 106 pounds. Schultz took fourth place last year. No competitors enter with a perfect record.

      113 pounds — Four medal-winners return to pursue gold at 113 pounds. Jarred Oftedahl (41-1) of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, St. Louis Park, and Abbot Aho (39-0) of Fergus Falls, placed fifth and sixth at 113 pounds, respectively. Skyler Petry (37-0) of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/JWP, runner-up at 106 pounds, and Jakob Stageberg (37-3) of New London-Spicer, third at 106 pounds, are the other returning qualifiers. Aho and Petry are the only undefeated competitors.

      120 pounds — Jaydan Bullerman (32-5) of Adrian Areais looking to improve on his fifth-place finish in this class last year. Three other 2012 medal-winners return: Griffin Parriot (38-5) of New Prague, runner-up at 113 pounds; Anthony Luft (34-1) of Worthington/Round Lake-Brewster, fifth at 106 pounds; and Tyler Funk (29-4) of Foley, sixth at 106. No one has a perfect record.

      126 pounds — 2012 champion Juan Torres (10-1) of Simley of Inver Grove Heights will defend his title against Ty Griffin (18-5) of Rockford, who won gold at 120 pounds last year. Two other returning medal-winners also compete in this class: Tristan Manderfeld (31-3) of Foley, third at 113 pounds; and Zach Siegle (32-5) of Scott West, fourth at 113 pounds. No competitors enter the competition undefeated.

      132 pounds — Two gold medalists from 2012 move up to 132 pounds in search of another title. Brady Berge (41-1) of Kasson-Mantorville was the champion at 106 pounds. Kyle Gliva (38-4) of Simley won gold at 113 pounds. Kyle Opsahl (33-0) of Pine City/Hinckley-Finlayson, sixth-place at 126 pounds last year, is the only other returning medal-winner and the lone undefeated competitor in this class.

      138 pounds — Defending champion Coltan Laganiere (35-4) of Kasson-Mantorville returns to claim another title in this weight class. He is joined by three other 2012 medalists: Brett Stolarzyk (24-6) of Stewartville, third at 120 pounds; Mason Brownlee (34-5) of Tri-City/Cleveland, fifth at 132 pounds; and Quade Zupko (42-1) of Chisago Lakes Area of Lindstrom, sixth at 138 pounds. There are no perfect records.

      145 pounds — Mack Short (38-4) of Simley is the only returning medal-winner in this class. He placed fourth at 138 pounds last year. No one has a perfect record.

      152 pounds — The 2012 champion at 145 pounds, Jake Short (41-0) of Simley, enters competition in pursuit of another title. He is the only undefeated wrestler in this class. Nathanael Holecek (37-4) of Thief River Falls/Goodridge, who placed sixth in this class last year, is the only other returning qualifier.

      160 pounds — Three returning medal-winners compete in this class: Andrew Fogarty (36-3) of Scott West, third at 138 pounds; Colton Vekved (38-4) of Becker, sixth at 145 pounds; and Brady Ayers (33-6) of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/JWP, sixth at 160. Garth Ochsendorf (10-0) of Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley is the only competitor with a perfect record.

      170 pounds — Nick Wanzek (41-0) of Simley, the 2012 champion at 152 pounds, returns in search of more gold. Miles Hammerlund (30-1) of Delano, runner-up in this class last year, also looks to claim the championship. Codie LaFromboise (32-0) of Mora, fourth at 160 pounds in 2012, is the only other returning qualifier. Wanzek and LaFromboise are the competitors with perfect records.

      182 pounds — Jamison Evans (36-0) of Grand Rapids, looks to improve on his runner-up finish in this class last year. He is the lone undefeated qualifier. Austin Torres (31-3) of Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran, fifth at 195 pounds last year, is the only other returning medalist.

      195 pounds — Two 2012 champions lead the field at 195 pounds. Broc Berge (41-2) of Kasson-Mantorville was the gold medalist in this class, and Lance Benick (37-1) of Totino-Grace of Fridley won the title at 182 pounds. They are joined by three other returning medalists: Josh Edlund (26-4) of Crookston, third at 195 pounds; Paxton Jordahl (33-5) of Hutchinson, fourth at 195 pounds; and Tyler Jakes (33-1) of Mankato West, fifth at 182. No one has a perfect record.

      220 pounds — The defending champion and runner-up in this class return to pursue the gold. Joe Schiller (30-3) of Totino-Grace won the title in 2012. JD Struxness (7-0) of Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley took second place. They are the only returning qualifiers in this weight class. Struxness has the lone perfect record.

      285 pounds — Sam Stoll (42-0) of Kasson-Mantorville looks to top his third-place finish in 2012 with a championship title. He is the only returning qualifier. Stoll and Brandon Schmitt (24-0) of Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley are the only undefeated wrestlers in this weight class.

      Simley leads the field with 11 qualified wrestlers. Foley, Kasson-Mantorville, and Thief River Falls/Goodridge qualified nine individuals apiece.

      Class AAA Individual Highlights

      106 pounds — There are no returning medalists and no perfect records.

      113 pounds — Three 2012 medal-winners, including 106-pound champion Maolu Woiwer (27-5) of Apple Valley, return. The others are: Trevor Westerlund (35-6) of Albert Lea Area, runner-up at 106 pounds; and Brian Maas (37-3) of Bemidji, third at 106 pounds. There are no perfect records.

      120 pounds — Tommy Thorn (40-1) of St. Michael-Albertville returns in search of more gold. He won at 113 pounds last year. Two other medalists also return: Tanner Johnshoy (37-2) of Prior Lake, runner-up at 113 pounds; and Reid Lyden (35-7) of East Ridge of Woodbury, sixth at 106 pounds. There are no perfect records.

      126 pounds — Four medalists return: Ben Brancale (36-1) of Eden Prairie, third at 120 pounds; James Pleski (38-5) of Forest Lake, fourth at 113 pounds; Nick O’Brien (36-6) of Wayzata, sixth at 113 pounds; and Dakota Wangsness (32-7) of Albert Lea Area, sixth at 120 pounds. No one has a perfect record.

      132 pounds — Seth Gross (19-1) of Apple Valley leads a field of four returning medalists. He won at 120 pounds last year. He is joined by: Mark Voss (39-5) of St. Michael-Albertville, runner-up in this weight class; Luke Rowh (40-2) of Hastings, fifth at 113 pounds; and Evan Caldon (37-7) of Elk River, sixth at 126 pounds. There are no perfect records.

      138 pounds — Mitch Bengtson (40-0) of St. Cloud Apollo, who earned runner-up honors at 126 pounds last year, is the top returning qualifier. Two other medalists also return in search of a title: Weston Droegemueller (38-3) of Wayzata, fourth in this weight class; and Cole Sladek (38-4) of St. Michael-Albertville, fourth at 120 pounds. Bengtson boasts the only unblemished record.

      145 pounds — Grant Nehring (31-1) of St. Cloud Apollo, who was the champion at 138 pounds last year, is the highest returning medal-winner. He is joined by: Dayton Racer (26-1) of Apple Valley, runner-up at 138 pounds; Lincoln Mallinger (33-9) of St. Michael-Albertville, third at 138 pounds; and Shamar Williams (21-6) of Lakeville South, fourth at 126 pounds. No one has a perfect record.

      152 pounds — Mark Hall (41-1) of Apple Valley, who earned top honors at 145 pounds last year, is the highest returning medalist. Justin Herold-Plakut (39-3) of Woodbury also returns. He placed fifth at 132 pounds last year. There are no perfect records.

      160 pounds — Two 2012 medal-winners return in pursuit of a championship: Joseph Carpenter (35-6) of Moorhead, fifth at 152 pounds; and Cody Skog (39-7) of Cambridge-Isanti, sixth at 152 pounds. Tim Moore (16-0) of Rochester John Marshall has the only unblemished record.

      170 pounds — TJ Ohara (27-1) of Tartan of Oakdale, the 2012 champion at 152 pounds, is the highest returning qualifier. Two other medalists also return: Tommy Longendyke (34-4) of White Bear Lake Area, fifth in this weight class; and Ethan Loosbrock (29-2) of Chaska, sixth at 145 pounds. No one in this class is undefeated.

      182 pounds — Ricky Briggs (42-3) of St. Michael-Albertville, runner-up in this class last year, is the only returning qualifier. There are no perfect records.

      195 pounds — Defending champion Tommy Peterson (34-1) of Lakeville South seeks another title in this class. He’ll face competition from last year’s runner-up at 195 pounds, Trae Story (39-0) of Roseville Area, and Chase Morlock (39-1) of Moorhead, who was the champion at 182 pounds in 2012. Story has the only perfect record.

      220 pounds — Mitchell Eull (28-1) of St. Michael-Albertville is the only returning medal-winner. He placed third at 195 pounds in 2012. No wrestlers enter the competition undefeated.

      285 pounds — Michael Burckhardt (32-1) of Coon Rapids, the defending champion in this class, returns in search of another gold medal. Two other competitors were medal-winners in the heavyweight field last year: Jerrad Nieland (30-4) of St. Cloud Tech, who placed third; and Colin Fisher (36-2) of Eagan, who placed fifth. Cass Herzog (33-0) of Willmar is the only competitor with a perfect record.

      Apple Valley qualified 14 wrestlers and St. Michael-Albertville qualified 12. Stillwater Area and Willmar were next with eight individual qualifiers apiece.

      The Schedule and Ticket Information

      This year’s schedule features the team tournament running all day on Thursday, Feb. 28. The action starts with the Class AA and Class AAA quarterfinals at 9 a.m. They will be followed by the Class A team quarterfinals at 11 a.m., which will be run simultaneously with the Class AA and Class AAA consolation semifinals.

      At 1 p.m. on Thursday, all three classes will wrestle in the team championship semifinals and Class A will also have its consolation semifinals. The consolation and third-place team matches for all three classes will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday evening, followed by the team championship matches for all three classes at 7 p.m.

      On Friday, March 1, the Class AA individual first round begins at 9 a.m. The Class AAA individual first round starts at 11 a.m., followed by the Class A individual first round at 1 p.m. On Friday evening, the Class AA individual championship quarterfinals begin at 5 p.m. The Class AAA and Class A individual championship quarterfinals will follow at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. The evening session will conclude with all wrestlebacks at 8 p.m.

      On Saturday there will be five rounds of competition. The first starts at 10 a.m. and will consist of all individual consolation quarterfinals. The second round will start approximately at 11:15 a.m. and will entail all individual championship semifinals. Round Three begins approximately at 1:15 p.m. and will encompass all individual consolation semifinals. At approximately 5 p.m., all individual fifth- and third-place matches will begin. The day will end with all individual championships beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Awards will then follow the final round.

      Other than the first matches of each session, all subsequent rounds will start immediately following the conclusion of the previous competition in that 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 $14 per adult and $9 per student for each session. Daily passes are available for $26 for adults and $17 for students. Season passes, good for the entire tournament, are available to adults for $78 and to students for $51.

      Live Web Streaming

      The championship semifinals and championship matches of the team and individual competition for all classes will be streamed live by Prep45.com on the Web and are available at no charge.

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