Knight wrestlers take down Simley, win Coon Rapids tourney
By Rob LaPlante
In the highly anticipated wrestling dual meet pitting “top 10” in the nation teams, STMA and Simley, against each other, the Knights emerged victorious by a score of 41-21 in front of an enthusiastic home crowd estimated at more than one thousand fans. The Friday night (December 7th) match saw the Knights (number 5 in the nation) win 9 of 14 matches against the number 8 (in the nation) ranked Spartans of Simley.
Simley has won the Minnesota class “AA” State Tourney, the past 5 seasons and is currently ranked number one in the State in class “AA”, while the Knights, who won the class “AA” title 4 years in-a-row, prior to Simley’s 5-year streak, are currently ranked number 2 in class “AAA” behind Apple Valley.
Leading 4-3 in the third period of the evening’s opening match, STMA 8th grader, Zach Dehmer, fell victim to his Simley opponent’s headlock and was pinned at 106 pounds. The Knights then reeled off 4 straight wins, ignited by Colten Schoen’s 1st period pin at 120 pounds to gain a 20-6 lead in the team score following a Tanner Mills tech fall at 132 pounds. Coach Dan Lefebvre noted, “Junior Colten Schoen really got the crowd into the match with a big pin to put the team up by 3 points, at the time. That was a real emotional lift for the team.” Aaron Dick had a decision at 113 pounds and Tommy Thorn had a pin at 126 pounds in that string of wins by the Knights. Simley won the next 3 matches narrowing the Knights’ lead to 20-18, before the STMA upper weights put the dual away for the home team winning 5 of the final 6 matches.
Senior Mikey Kessler’s 7-3 win at 220 pounds put the match out of reach and senior Ricky Briggs moving up to 285 pounds pinned his opponent to end the dual.
Coach Lefebvre went on to say, “It was a fun meet, we had great fan support, a lot of students in attendance, and just a great atmosphere for high school wrestling.”