Simley wins three of four swing matches – heads back to State

By Brian Jerzak

In a perfect world, Kasson Mantorville and Simley should be meeting in the state semi-finals or even the finals. For the second straight year, they instead met in the Section 1AA finals with a trip to State on the line. After both teams rolled through the quarters and semis, the matchup everyone expected got going.

Simley head coach Will Short expected the dual to hinge on four swing matches – the first of which started the meet. It did not go the way the Spartans wanted.

Kasson Mantorville’s 106-pound senior Jace Minelli was taken down in period one and was not given the benefit of the doubt on a possible escape near the edge of the mat to keep the score 2-0. After Minelli was ridden out in the second period, the third period started on the feet with the senior down 2-0. He got in on a single leg, converted the takedown and rode out the remainder of the period to force overtime. Minelli would get an escape in the first overtime and was able to ride out his opponent for a critical win and a 3-0 lead.

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No. 21 Simley wins Minnesota Christmas Tournament

The showcase event of Minnesota’s regular season in high school wrestling happened the last two days in Rochester, as the Minnesota Christmas Tournament featured 40 teams. It includes the vast majority of Minnesota’s best teams, plus a few teams from out of state (Illinois, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma). After the two days of wrestling were completed, a mere five points (204.5-199.5) separated a pair of top 25 teams in the country.

Despite just having nine wrestlers (six in the quarters) remaining after day one, No. 21 Simley surged on day two to put a tournament-high eight on the podium. And that was with Greg Kerkvliet (285) and two-time state medalist Cael Berg (138) out of the lineup. The Spartans were led by weight class champion Ryan Sokol (132), who scored a 20-5 technical fall over state champion Noah Villarreal (Aurora Christian, Ill.) in the championship match.

Also placing for Simley were three third place finishers, including Cadet freestyle champion Quayin Short (182), whose lone loss was a 7-4 defeat against state champion Cade King (Owatonna). Other medalists were those taking fourth, fifth, seventh, and eight. Continue reading at

St. Michael-Albertville topples Shakopee for Class 3A state title

Kasson-Mantorville wins Class 2A; Zumbrota-Mazeppa wins Class 1A

Too many times, St. Michael-Albertville has come close to state titles, only to have victory snatched away late.

On countless occasions, Apple Valley proved just one guy too deep to keep the Knights from climbing to the top of the ladder. Even in 2013, when the Knights did win that elusive big school crown, they were forced to share it with the Eagles.

Not on Thursday night. Continue reading at