Teams that comprise Section 1 are as follows: Albert Lea Area, Austin, Faribault, Farmington, Northfield, Owatonna, Rochester Century, Rochester Mayo, Rochester John Marshall, and Winona/Winona Cotter. Joel Messick is the new head coach for Rochester Century. This section has 15 returning state entrants, three returning placewinners, including one finalist, Landen Johnson of Owatonna. The team race will come down to three teams: Farmington, Northfield, and Owatonna. Teams that are clear underdogs are Albert Lea, Rochester Mayo, and Winona/Winona Cotter.
Owatonna has a lot of talent returning. The Huskies have nine returning starters, all with winning records with wins from 23 up to 48 wins from last season. Landen Johnson was a finalist last season and Cael Robb placed 4th in St. Paul. Junior Yves Evillard surprised some by punching his ticket to the state tournament. I’m sure head coach Adam Woitalla wasn’t surprised at all. Seniors Owen Thorn, Matt Seykora, Chase Dallman, and Kaden Nelson should bring a ton of experience. Juniors Jacob Reinardy and Kanin Hable will also add to Owatonna’s success.
Coach Geoff Staab’s Northfield Raiders will be a strong team again this season. They will be led by state entrants Chase Murphy, Beau Murphy, and Sam Holman. Nick Lopez and Gavin Anderson will provide their senior leadership. Junior Jake Messner recorded 45 wins last season and should be contending for a win in all of the Raiders duals. Underclassmen Nickolas Mikula and Jayce Barron will need to perform if Northfield is to win the section title.