No. 1 KoMets take out No. 2 Simley

When Kasson-Mantorville senior Jim Paulson prepared to hit the mat during Saturday’s Section One, Class AA finals at Mayo Civic Center, the KoMets coaching staff had a simple message for the 195-pounder.

“They just told me to get it done, to go get it done,” Paulson said.

He did just that.

With the KoMets clinging to a 28-16 lead against No. 2-ranked Simley, Paulson hit the mat at 195 pounds against Blake Holzem. With a Simley pin almost guaranteed from nationally ranked Daniel Kerkvliet at 220, that meant the KoMets needed a win at either 195 or heavyweight to make a return trip to state. Continue reading at

K-M, Simley to meet in a new venue

It’s been a long time since Simley has not competed at the state wrestling tournament. Ten years, in fact.

But Kasson-Mantorville is hoping to end that incredible run.

The KoMets and Spartans have been rivals for years, regularly meeting at the state tournament. Those two teams have combined to win every Class AA state title since 2008. Simley dominated the Class AA state meet from 2008 through 2012, winning five consecutive state titles. K-M ended that streak in 2013, winning the program’s first state crown. Simley regained the title in 2015, and K-M has won the last two state AA state championships.

This year will be different, though. While K-M and Simley are accustomed to meeting at Xcel Energy Center, this year they’ll meet in a new venue — Mayo Civic Center. Continue reading at

The Guillotine Grapevine: Before and After the Steveson-Kerkvliet supermatch – GG40

In the lore of Minnesota wrestling, Friday, February 2 might go down as one of the most important in the state’s history. Not because the dual outcome impacted a state or sectional title, but because you saw two world champions collide as two of the state’s power programs met in front of a capacity crowd at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights.

Episode 40 of The Guillotine Grapevine goes before and after the Gable Steveson-Greg Kerkvliet super match. Steveson, a three-time world champion at the international age-group levels at heavyweight faced off with Simley 220-pounder Kerkvliet, the 2017 Cadet world champion at 100kg.

We talk with fathers Robert Steveson, Greg Kerkvliet, then we talk with the combatants before finishing up with Simley AD and wrestling coach Will Short about setting up the match.

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Apple Valley vs. Simley and Steveson vs. Kerkvliet – Why Not?

With the Super Bowl just two days away, high school wrestling was treated to a Super Bowl of sorts at Simley High School on Friday night. Not only was Simley – the number two ranked AA team in the state rolling with the number one ranked team in AAA – Apple Valley – in a match many wrestling fans across the nation have been talking about, Simley’s Daniel Kerkvliet was moving up from 220 to 285 to face Apple Valley’s Gable Steveson. With both teams being in different classes and both headlining wrestlers being in different weight classes, in the scope of Minnesota high school wrestling the result of the match was going to change little in the grand scheme of the high school wrestling season. Some might say way do it. Like Kerkvliet said – why not?

The gym was packed to capacity as the two teams took the mat.

Apple Valley got out to an 8-0 lead, but Simley’s Cael Berg cut into the lead with a first-period fall. Apple Valley’s Peyton McLagan got the Eagles back on track with a 6-2 win to give his team an 11-6 lead. While Steveson and Kerkvliet was the headliner, Valley’s Sebas Swiggum against Simley’s Jake Gliva was an excellent undercard bout. Gliva was more active in the first period, but neither wrestler was able to score. Swiggum took a 1-0 lead with an early escape and seemed to push the pace more in period two. Continue reading

Steveson holds off Kerkvliet in high school wrestling battle for the ages

Vince McMahon would have been proud.

Apple Valley senior Gable Steveson certainly did his part as a promoter in the days leading up to Friday night’s much-anticipated high school wrestling showdown against Simley junior Daniel “Greg” Kerkvliet Jr. It was surprisingly close, but Steveson held on for a 3-2 win before a raucous crowd of 1,900 in Inver Grove Heights.

A dual meet between the two traditional state powers provided a worthy undercard, with the Class 3A Eagles claiming a 38-24 victory over their Class 2A foes.

“The whole atmosphere was great,” Kerkvliet said after his first loss since a freestyle match at Junior Duals last summer in Tulsa, Okla. “The hoopla around it, the media, everybody coming out — it was energetic. This was a big one.” Continue reading at