Henry senior enjoys state meet despite his loss

Anthony Jones, a senior, never had considered becoming a wrestler until fall of his junior year.

If, two years ago, someone had asked Anthony Jones if he would have expected to be wrestling in the Class 2A state meet, his likely response would have been bewilderment. If that same question had been posed last fall, he would have said absolutely.

That’s how far the Minneapolis Henry heavyweight has come in a short period of time.

Jones, a senior, never had considered becoming a wrestler until fall of his junior year. Continue reading at www.mnwrestlinghub.com

STMA’s elder McKee a good leader on, off wrestling mat

Mitchell McKee has taken on a larger role in his brother’s development since their father passed away in December.

For a few short moments Friday, both of St. Michael-Albertville’s McKee brothers, Mitchell, a junior 126-pounder, and Patrick, an eighth-grade 106-pounder, were wrestling in the Class 3A quarterfinals simultaneously on adjacent mats at Xcel Energy Center. After Mitchell had defeated Lakeville North’s Wade Sullivan 13-1 in a battle of defending champs (McKee at 120, Sullivan at 113), he was told his brother had wrestled next to him.

“How’d he do?” McKee asked, forgetting for a moment his own match. When told Patrick had lost to Eagan’s Sodan Ka 5-3, his face dropped. “Aw, he had a tough kid.” Continue reading at www.mnwrestlinghub.com

Simley tops Albert Lea for state title

There have been 40 individual state wrestling champions crowned from Simley High School. Those individuals were primarily responsible for the Inver Grove Heights school winning 11 team titles since the late 1980s.

“We had some superstars back in the day,” said Spartans coach and activities director Will Short, who won two individual titles himself.

But the Spartans underwent a makeover this season. Void of a lot of star power, they had to come up with an alternate plan if their quest for a seventh championship in the past eight seasons was to be a success. Continue reading at www.twincities.com

Minneota tops Zumbrota-Mazeppa for first title

Minneota’s Leo Buysse had three sacks last fall in helping to power the Vikings to a 28-14 victory over Dawson-Boyd in the Class A Prep Bowl football championship game at TCF Bank Stadium. The feeling of being a champion didn’t strike him until weeks later when he slipped on his championship ring.

He figures the same kind of delayed reaction awaits after Minneota claimed its second major championship of the school year with a 31-30 victory over Zumbrota-Mazeppa in the Class A title match of the state wrestling tournament Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

It was the first wrestling championship in seven state tournament trips for the Vikings. Continue reading at www.twincities.com

Apple Valley tips STMA for 23rd state title

Apple Valley wrestling coach Dalen Wasmund had a favor to ask of his team Thursday night.

The Eagles were about to enter a place they were familiar with, the Minnesota Class 3A wrestling championship match, a berth they had gained for 10 consecutive seasons. But for the first time in recent memory, Apple Valley appeared vulnerable to defeat entering the big-school title match against St. Michael-Albertville, the Eagles’ primary nemesis for years.

Wasmund encouraged his team to dig deep, to tap into their inner hero. When the Eagles acquiesced, they amazed even themselves. Continue reading at www.twincities.com

Simley continues its wrestling dynasty in Class 2A

The late Jim Short inspired Spartans to a seventh title in eight years.

The Simley wrestling team won its seventh Class 2A title in the past eight years on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center, defeating Albert Lea 34-21.

But it was the first title for the program since the passing of head coach Will Short’s father, Jim. The legendary head coach, who had his hand in the school’s previous 10 championships, lost his battle with cancer in May.

“I know he was here tonight,” said Simley senior Jack Ryan, who concluded the final with a pin at heavyweight. “There’s a reason things went the way they went. Continue reading at www.mnwrestlinghub.com

Minneota wins first Class 1A wrestling title

Success on mat follows football championship.

After 28 seasons as Minneota’s head coach, Joel Skillings wasn’t about to worry.

Not when his team, favored to be one the top teams in Class 1A from the outset, got a late start on the season because 12 of his 14 starters were occupied with winning the Class 1A state football championship. Not when he had as many as eight starters miss time because of injury.

There was plenty of time, Skillings thought. And not when they were clinging to a four-point lead. Continue reading at www.mnwrestlinghub.com