Apple Valley returns to State in a tension-filled 2AAA team tournament

By Brian Jerzak

One of my favorite weekends on the Minnesota high school sports calendar is wrestling’s team section tournament weekend. The state tournament is great, but there is something magical about watching a team make it to state. While looking for a section tournament this weekend, I found a section where I thought I could get three great dual meets. I looked at Section 2AAA with three teams in The Guillotine top twelve.

After an evening of wrestling, my hunch was correct – I saw three great duals. A total of eleven points decided the two semifinals and the finals.

Prior Lake, Farmington, New Prague, and Apple Valley cruised into the semifinals.

Although they were unranked, Prior Lake would push the number one-seeded Apple Valley Eagles to the brink. The Lakers’ number one ranked 107 pounder – Liam Collins quickly put the underdog Lakers in front 6-0. Three matches later, Apple Valley’s Louis Prouty’s second-period fall tied the match at nine.

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The Guillotine – November 3, 2022

The November 3, 2022 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: College Previews | Lineup Battles Loom For Golden Gophers | Jackrabbits Continue Moving Up As Excitement Builds | Lace ‘Em Up | Camps, Clinics, and Training | Johnnies Are A Hard-Working Bunch | Count on the Bison to Give Maximum Effort | Cobbers Return a Combination of Experience and Talent | Ask The Doc | Huskies are in the Hunt for another National Title | Yellowjackets Have Very High Expectations | It’s A New Era For The Pioneers | Performance Nutrition - What Is Your Weight? | Auggies Eye A Return To The Top | Trust The Process – Alan Koehler | Officially Speaking | Mustangs Are Primed To Fire | Vikings Are Looking to Achieve Great Things | Doing A Little Extra – Basically; Jacob Oyster and United North Central Wrestling | Bluejays Hope To Build On Last Year | Auggies Women Can Compete with Any Team in the Country | Vikings Look For New and Returning Wrestlers to Step Up | Mavericks Are Hard-Working And Talented | Dragons Look For Leadership From Returning Starters | Warriors Are Looking To Do Some Great Things.

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Trust The Process – Alan Koehler

By Brian Jerzak

Most repeat state champions start their varsity careers before high school. They don't all make trips to State in those first few years, but most have cracked the varsity lineup and are making noise – at least – in section tournaments. That was not the case for Prior Lake's two-time state champion Alan Koehler. It is not that he didn't have the talent; he didn't have the physical size.

Prior Lake Head Coach Joe Block and his staff struggled with how to handle their talented but undersized athlete.

"We had a few kids before Alan that came up through the middle school program that we thought could help us," Block said. "They were right around the minimum weight limit for 106, and it was hard on them. I think we did more damage to some of those kids than we did good. There is a huge jump between middle school and high school. As coaches, we thought we had something special with Alan. Let's not rush it and give him one more year to grow and get stronger."

Even when he finally met the varsity weight minimum as a freshman, Koehler didn't get the chance to compete for a state championship. He ended the season short of not only a state title but short of the state tournament.

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