On the strength of winning 8 individual weight class titles, the St. Michael-Albertville High School wrestling team started its season in dominating fashion by winning the St. Michael-Albertville Invitational Tourney by a 145.5 point margin.
STMA’s Colton Schoen enroute to a 16-4 major decision over Cole Moening of Elk River at the STMA Invitational. (Photos by Bill Halldin)
Individual Champions of STMA Invitational Wrestling Tourney include front row, left to right, Nehring (Apollo), Mark Voss (STMA), James Pleski (Forest Lake), Tommy Thorn (STMA), Mitchell McKee (STMA), and Jake Allar (BSM). Back row: Mikey Kessler (STMA), Mitchell Eull (STMA), Ricky Briggs (STMA), Jake Briggs (STMA), Jordan Joseph (STMA), Austin Boniface (Forest Lake), Mitch Bengston (Apollo). Not pictured: Jarred Offtedahl (BSM).
The Knights totaled 265.5 points followed by St. Cloud Apollo-121, Forest Lake-115.5, Elk River-101, Dassel-Cokata-100, Benilde-St. Margaret’s-82.5, Tri City United-60, St. Cloud Tech-45, Delano-45, and Spring Lake Park-36.5.
ऀWinning individual titles for the Knights were: Mitchell McKee (113 pounds), Tommy Thorn (126), Mark Voss (138), Jordan Joseph (170), Jake Briggs (182), Rickey Briggs (195), Mitchell Eull (220), and Mikey Kessler (285). Placing second in their individual weight class included: Aaron Dick (113), Tanner Mills (132), Cole Sladek (145), Lincoln Mallinger (152), and Owen Gammell (170). Zach Dehmer (106) and Thor Holstad (160) each placed fifth, while Talon Juusola (145) placed sixth.
ऀIn the junior varsity division, the Knights also won the team title scoring 201 points ahead of runnerup Forest Lake-166, followed by Elk River-132, Dassel-Cokato-130, Tri City United-126, St. Cloud Apollo-68, Benilde-St. Margaret’s-61.5, Delano-59, Spring Lake Park-48, and St. Cloud Tech-24. Winning individual titles for STMA in the JV division were: Zac Schoen (113), Donnie Leuer (132), Garrett Ailts (138), Mitch Herian (152), and Alec Birk (182).
ऀSTMA head coach Dan Lefebvre commented, “With winning both the varsity and JV tourneys with 8 varsity individual champions and 5 JV individual champions, it was a successful start to the season. The guys have been executing the techniques that we have been working on in practice. If they continue to do that, plus work on their weaknesses and build their strengths, then we will continue to improve. That is what our coaching staff is looking for, continued improvement throughout the year.”
ऀNext competition for the STMA wrestlers is Friday, Dec. 7, when then Knights host Simley, state champions in class “AA” the past 4 seasons. The dual will attract statewide and probably national attention as STMA is ranked number 5 in the nation and Simley is ranked number 8 in the nation. The Knights are ranked number 2 in the State, behind Apple Valley in class “AAA” and Simley is ranked number 1 in Minnesota class “AA.”
The B-squad match starts at 6 p.m, with varsity to follow at approximately 7:30 PM at the STMA High School gym. On Saturday Dec. 8, the Knights varsity and JV travel to Coon Rapids for an 8-team dual meet tournament.