Wrestling: Knights celebrate championship with day at capitol

St. Michael-Albertville senior Ryan Rostamo shakes Gov. Mark Dayton’s hand during the Monday, April 15, formal visit to the State Capitol. The Knights visited the Capitol to honor their 2013 Class 3A state co-championship. (Photo by Bill Halldin)

St. Michael-Albertville senior Ryan Rostamo shakes Gov. Mark Dayton’s hand during the Monday, April 15, formal visit to the State Capitol. The Knights visited the Capitol to honor their 2013 Class 3A state co-championship. (Photo by Bill Halldin)

STMAwrestleCapitol

STMA players and coaches pose with the governor, who is sporting an STMA wrestling t-shirt. The Knights are the 2013 co-champions after they tied 28-28 with Apple Valley Feb. 28. (Photo by Bill Halldin)

By Rob LaPlante

Crow River News Sports

 

The St. Michael-Albertville wrestling team butted heads with an unfamiliar partner Monday.

In recognition of its 2013 state championship – a title they shared with Apple Valley – STMA had a date to exchange handshakes with the governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton.

With the Eagles unable to attend, Dayton welcomed Class 3A champs STMA, along with the champs of Class 2A, Kasson-Mantorville and Class-A Jackson County Central to the state capitol for a Monday visit.

It was the first time the Knights have appeared before the governor and STMA head coach Dan Lefebvre said it was a special moment for his players.

“This was our first time to go down there,” Lefebvre said. “We appreciate the governor taking time out of his busy schedule to recognize the teams. He used to play hockey so he understands and gets all the hard work that goes into athletics.”

Members of the Knights were able to shake the governor’s hand as well as tour the capitol building. “We were able to get a little education in,” Lefebvre said.

Later that evening, STMA wrestlers were finally rewarded the final piece to their co-championship puzzle that they didn’t receive on Feb. 28 at Xcel Energy Center.

With both the Knights and Eagles sharing the state title, Apple Valley was awarded the gold medals on tournament day. STMA was awarded their medals at Monday’s banquet as a result of not having enough to go around in February.

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