The STMA wrestling team split their team sending a team to Woodbury to compete in the East Ridge Ruckus individual tourney and also sending a team to Robbinsdale for the Cooper Hawk Invitational individual tourney, on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Both teams were comprised of normal starters for the Knights and both teams competed against other school’s varsity teams.
The contingent of STMA wrestlers that went to Cooper captured the team title in the 8-team tourney, dominating the competition, crowning six individual champions. The Knights compiled 218.5 team points in winning the championship, ahead of runnerup New Richland Hartland Ellendale Geneva who had 136 points, followed by Robbinsdale Cooper-124, Fillmore Central-113, Mille Lacs-101.5, Patrick Henry-98, St. Croix Lutheran-79, and Benilde St. Margaret’s-37.
Nathan Nygaard (106 pounds), Brandon Psyk (113), Dylan Hanson (120), Kyle Elkie (132), Carl Leuer (138), and Cole Jann (195) won individual titles in leading the Knights at Cooper. Wyatt Lidberg (152) and Alex Peterson (285) each earned runnerup finishes, while Noah Monte (126) and Praise Dombraye (220) each placed third. Other Knights that placed in the “top 5” included: Noah David (182-4th) and Alex Fernandez (170-5th).
Meanwhile at East Ridge, the Knights were second in the team race in the 17-team tourney.
Waconia emerged as the team champion with 235.5 team points followed by STMA with 156.5, then South St. Paul-147, Wayzata-125.5, Milaca-90.5, East Ridge-87, Mahtomedi-81, Lake City-72.5, Roseville-61, Somerset (WI)-59.5, Hopkins-58, Cretin Derham Hall-52.5, Chaska/Chanhassen-49, Orono-47, Unity-45, Rochester Century-43.5, and Burnsville-20.
Patrick McKee (120), Jake Allar (170), and Evan Foster (220) captured individual titles in leading the Knights, with Zach Dehmer (126) and Max Jensen (195) earning 2nd place finishes. Cole Becker (106) was a third place finisher and Allen Winters (285) placed fourth.
Also, Saturday, Jan. 21 was the Minnesota Ninth Grade League State Dual Meet Tourney at Hastings, in which the STMA Ninth Grade team qualified for.
In that tourney, STMA defeated ACGC by a score of 35-30 in first round action, then advanced to the semi-finals by defeating New Prague 34-33, before wrestling Bemidji to a tie, but losing 37-36 via tie-breaking criteria. In the third place match, Kasson-Mantorville defeated STMA by a score of 39-26, giving the Knights a fourth place at the State Ninth Grade Meet.
In Conference dual meet action on Thursday January 19th, STMA hosted Buffalo in a dual, coming out ahead of the Bison by a score of 62-13. Nate Nygaard (106), Kyle Elkie (132), Cody Schoen (145), Jake Allar (170), and Allen Winters (285), each had pins in leading the Knights.
Brandon Psyk (113) won with a tech fall and Patrick McKee (120), Zach Dehmer (126), Gabe Anderson (160), Max Jensen (195), and Evan Foster, all picked up wins for STMA.
Next action for the Knight wrestlers is Friday, Jan. 27, at Big Lake High School, in the Mississippi-8 Conference individual tourney where individual “All-Conference” honors are on the line. “Top 3” finishers in each weight class earn “All Conference” distinction. First round completion commences at 3 p.m. Friday.