St. Michael-Albertville Wrestlers Poised for State Glory
Fans, coaches and players alike will tell you this has been the week circled on the calendar for the past three years. Now, it's time for the Knights to deliver.
Every program in every corner of the state sets out on the course of a new sports season with one goal in mind: win a state championship.
For some, it's a realistic goal. The pieces are in place. The competition can't match up. And, if all goes according to plan, the trophy will be there at the end.
Rarely is that easy.
But for this St. Michael-Albertville wrestling team, which enters today's Class AAA Team Tournament as the No. 1 seed and No. 3 and 5 team in the entire country, that's been the method of thinking all season.
Well, almost all season.
Related: The Team Tournament begins today at 9 a.m. Semifinal coverage will be brodcast on Prep 45 Online beginning at 1 p.m., and you can listen to Gregg Greeno and the KRWC crew live from the Xcel Energy Center today as well.
Knight wrestlers like Tommy Thorn and Cole Sladek and Mitch Eull will tell you, flat out, they saw it coming together three years ago, when they were just freshmen and sophomores.
Apple Valley High was in the position then that St. Michael-Albertville is now: experienced, hungry and predominant favorite.
For the past three seasons, the Knights have run into that buzzsaw.
This year, they're running the blade.
"We've always taken a business-like approach to it. Workmanlike," said head coach Dan Lefebvre in an interview with Patch last season. "I think that's why the community enjoys our team."
In a place filled with Eulls, Thorns, Lefebvres, Schoens and more, the Knights often reflect the blue collar backgrounds here.
The Knights qualified 12 of 14 wresters for the individual tournament, which starts Friday. Eleven of those 12 have deep roots in the community, starting with the youth wrestling program at ages as young as 6.
"No one," said a local opposing coach who asked not to be named, "can say they don't do it the right way."
The top-ranked Knights open the day with Wilmar at 9 a.m. from the Xcel Energy Center today. Follow St. Michael Patch on Facebook and Twitter for updates, or subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates from St. Michael Patch.