The defending Minnesota Class “AAA” State champion STMA Knights enter the 2013-2014 season with many new faces on the varsity lineup as they seek to defend their State title from a year ago.
The Knights do have five full-time starters back from last year’s team including 3-time State champion Tommy Thorn, now a senior. Other returning starters that form a solid nucleus to build around include: 3-time State placewinner, senior Mark Voss (5th, 2nd, 2nd), 2-time State placewinner, sophomore Mitch McKee (2nd, 3rd), and State entrants senior Aaron Dick and junior Jake Briggs.
Senior Colton Schoen returns also, with a lot of varsity experience.
The Knights open up their season with a home match against Mississippi-8 foe Monticello Friday, Dec. 6, then host the annual STMA Invitational Saturday, Dec. 7.
The 7-time State Champion Knights are, once again, odds on favorites to win the Mississippi-8 Conference and Section 7AAA where Cambridge-Isanti will provide formidable competition in both the Conference and the Section. Monticello returns a strong team in the Mississippi-8 Conference, and besides Cambridge-Isanti, Anoka and Coon Rapids, are expected to provide competition for STMA in the tough Section 7AAA. The STMA wrestling team has qualified for the State Tourney, as a team, in 20 out of the past 21 seasons and seeks to continue that tradition of excellence in the upcoming season.
The starting varsity lineup for the Knights as they open their season looks as follows: 106 pounds-Zach Nygaard (10th grade), 113-Aaron Dick (12), 120-Colton Schoen (12), 126-Mitch McKee (10), 132-Tommy Thorn (12), 138-Jeff Geiger (10), 145-Mark Voss (12), 152-Donnie Leuer (10), 160-Lucas Jeske (10) or Mitch Zachman (11), 170-Evan Ronsen (10), 182-Evan Foster (9), 195-Jake Briggs (11), 220-Randy Anderson (11), and 285-Erick Barthel (11).
Coach Dan Lefebvre begins his 6th season as the Knight’s solo head coach and had this to say about his Knight wrestlers and the upcoming season, “We are looking forward to see the hard work pay off, that many of these guys have put in over the off-season, now that we’re here ready to start the year. We expect our team to make a lot of improvement over the course of the season, through hard work and simply gaining experience and hopefully be in the hunt at the end of the season.”