After winning the Section title a week before, it appears that the St. Michael-Albertville wrestling team will again be busy down at the State Tourney in St. Paul, as they qualified six individuals for the State Individual Tourney.
Top two individuals in each weight class at the Section meet qualifiy for State and the Knights had 5 individual champions and 1 runnerup at the Section meet, Saturday, Feb. 22, at Coon Rapids High School. Individual champs included: Aaron Dick (106 pounds), Mitchell McKee (120), Tommy Thorn (126), Mark Voss (145), and Jacob Briggs (195), while Evan Foster (170) was a runnerup.
In the finals, Aaron Dick defeated Tyler Eischens (Anoka) by a score of 4-2 at 106 pounds, Mitchel McKee pinned 4 opponents enroute to his title at 120 pounds, including a pin over Malik Stewart (Blaine) in the finals, and Tommy Thorn dominated 126 pounds with 2 pins and a 16-3 major decision win over Travis Swanson (Cambridge-Isanti) in the finals. Mark Voss pinned Alex Wilson (St. Francis) in his final and Jacob Briggs won 3-2 over Dakota Johnson (Cambridge-Isanti) in the finals at 195 pounds. STMA freshman Evan Foster continued his brilliant season by placing 2nd at 170 pounds. Foster lost to Andover standout, Corey Parsons, 7-0, in the finals, then defended his 2nd place by defeating Sam Begin (Anoka) in a true-second match by a score of 4-2 to secure a State Tourney berth.
Lucas Jeske (152) and Mitch Zachman (160) each placed 3rd, while Donnie Leuer (145) and Ryan Jones (182) each earned a fourth place finish. Zach Dehmer (113),
Andrew Puett (220), and Randy Anderson (285) each placed 6th, and Jeff Geiger (132) won a match, but did not place.
The Knights’ 6 individuals was the most in the Section while Cambridge-Isanti and Anoka each qualified 5 inidviduals.
“Our section is the toughest section to qualify individuals with so many good wrestling programs, so getting 6 individuals to qualify was good. It all comes down to fortitude, now. Nothing comes easy at the State Tourney and the boys will need to draw on their fortitude, at this point”, commented coach Dan Lefebvre. “We want to finish strong, both as a team and individually”.
Meanwhile, the Knights’ team competes in the State dual meet tourney Thursday Feb. 27. They meet Section 8AAA champion Moorhead at 9:00 AM. If they win their 9:00 AM match, they will most likely wrestle Prior Lake in the semi-finals at 1:00 PM, and if they win in the semi-finals, they would wrestle again at 7:00 PM, in the finals. Should they lose their semi-final match, they would wrestle in the 3rd place match at 5:00 PM on Thursday.
Individual competition for class “AAA” begins with the first round at 1 PM on Friday Feb. 28. Quarter-finals are at 6:30 PM for class “AAA” on Friday. Individual semi-finals are on Saturday morning at 10:45 AM, with individual finals for all classes at 7:00 PM, all wrestling at the X-cel Energy Center in St. Paul.