is as used to finishing runner up in the team tournament now as Apple Valley is winning it.
And the Knights have only been around Class AAA for three years.
The Eagles captured their 17th big school title in 19 years, their seventh AAA crown in a row and their third straight team championship over the Knights Friday night, with a 49-24 victory at the Xcel Energy Center.
But, for a young St. Michael-Albertville squad, just returning to the team finals was a victory in its own right.
The Knights graduate only senior Nick Edling, who is ranked No. 1 at 220 pounds. STMA put up 24 points in the final, the most against an Apple Valley team in Minnesota since 2009.
The Eagles are ranked No. 3 in the nation.
“You could put an all-star Minnesota team together, have them face Apple Valley,and you'd have a very good dual. Credit them for the type of team they have assembled and the way they've assembled it. They're an amazing team," Lefebvre said of the Eagles last year.
This year, he added recently, was no different.
The Knights used a huge performance from its lower weight wrestlers to upset No. 2 Hastings in that State AAA team semifinal.
Aaron Dick, Tommy Thorn and Cole Sladek set the tone, with Dick and Thorn winning by technical fall and Sladek scoring a big 10-3 decision to stake the Knights to a 13-0 lead.
Colton Schoen, a sophomore, lost a heartbreaking decision, 8-7, to senior Danny Grove of Hastings in the final second. Grove scored a two-point takedown to take the win away. Otherwise, the dual would have been over sooner.
But it was Wayne Voss, the young wrestler who scored an upset win in the Section 7-3A finals, who slammed the door on any Hastings comeback in the state semis.
Voss, who did not qualify for the individual tournament, made the most of his opportunity Thursday with a pin in the opening period, giving the Knights an insurmountable 25-3 lead.
His brother, Mark Voss, had the most exciting win for the Knights, getting a 3-1 overtime decision two weight classes earlier. Lincoln Mallinger, a junior, also had a nice decision, as the Knights just dominated from the outset.
Hastings would roar back with wins at 152, 160 and 170, but the Knights kept their shoulders off the mat. Ricky Briggs scored a big decision for STMA at 182, and then Edling, the lone senior, sealed the deal with a win at 220.
Prior to that, the Knights had dominated Champlin Park in the opening round with a 56-7 win, assuring the team of a top four finish.
“We have the one day to compete as a team, and then it’s up to you,” Edling said prior to the state meet. “We want to make the most of it. It will be good to be back and get experience for a lot of these younger guys.”
Against Valley, STMA and the Eagles traded pins, as Thorn won his bout after Dick lost by fall. Cole Sladek had the most exciting match of the final, scoring a 5-3 decision over Seth Gross at 120 pounds.
Sladek will be a favorite to win his weight class this weekend in the individual tournament.
But, facing a 9-6 deficit, Apple Valley rolled off 38 straight points with its big, nationally-ranked wrestlers in the middle of the lineup.
Mitch Eull of STMA would get a nice decision at 195 to close the gap, and Edling got a quick pin, before AVHS’ Zach Martens defaulted to STMA junior Ben Wilson to create the 49-26 final.
Class AAA Quarterfinal
Saint Michael-Albertville 56, Champlin Park 7
106: Aaron Dick, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Christian Dube, Champlin Park, 3:47
113: Tommy Thorn, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Andrew Longerbone, Champlin Park, :44
120: Cole Sladek, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Andy Vang, Champlin Park, 1:48
126: Colton Schoen, Saint Michael-Albertville major dec. Paul Winkelmann, Champlin Park, 9-0
132: Mark Voss, Saint Michael-Albertville major dec. Bobby Jackson, Champlin Park, 15-4
138: Lincoln Mallinger, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Jacob Vandersteen, Champlin Park, 2:50
145: Wayne Voss, Saint Michael-Albertville tech fall David Burtness, Champlin Park, 5:44 23-8
152: Cory Berry, Champlin Park major dec. Ryan Rostamo, Saint Michael-Albertville, 15-6
160: Jake Briggs, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Stephan Pham, Champlin Park, 7-5
170: Thor Holstad, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Adam Cottrell, Champlin Park, 6-2
182: Ben Haller, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Trenton Navalany, Champlin Park, 1:37
195: Mitchell Eull, Saint Michael-Albertville major dec. Moses Sando, Champlin Park, 12-3
220: Daniel Lovik, Champlin Park dec. Bennie Wilson, Saint Michael-Albertville, 4-2
285: Michael Kessler, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Theodore Ketter, Champlin Park, 3-2
Saint Michael-Albertville 31, Hastings 19
106: Aaron Dick, Saint Michael-Albertville tech fall Spencer Koop, Hastings, 5:33 22-7
113: Tommy Thorn, Saint Michael-Albertville tech fall Luke Rowh, Hastings, 15-0 4:32
120: Cole Sladek, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Isaac Bauer, Hastings, 10-3
126: Danny Gove, Hastings dec. Colton Schoen, Saint Michael-Albertville, 8-7
132: Mark Voss, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Eric Bauer, Hastings, OT 3-1
138: Lincoln Mallinger, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Dan Marquette, Hastings, 9-4
145: Wayne Voss, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Jake Anderson, Hastings, 1:34
152: Hunter Swenson, Hastings major dec. Owen Gammell, Saint Michael-Albertville, 9-1
160: Bryan Rachuy, Hastings dec. Jake Briggs, Saint Michael-Albertville, 4-3
170: Andy Rachuy, Hastings dec. Thor Holstad, Saint Michael-Albertville, 6-2
182: Ricky Briggs, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Cody Wagner, Hastings, 7-5
195: Jake Swenson, Hastings dec. Mitchell Eull, Saint Michael-Albertville, 4-3
220: Nick Edling, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Isaac Eichmann, Hastings, 3-1
285: Jake Anderson, Hastings dec. Bennie Wilson, Saint Michael-Albertville, 6-2
Class AAA Championship
Apple Valley 49, Saint Michael-Albertville 24
106: Maolu Woiwor, Apple Valley pinned Aaron Dick, Saint Michael-Albertville, 2:21
113: Tommy Thorn, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Brock Morgan, Apple Valley, 3:19
120: Cole Sladek, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Seth Gross, Apple Valley, 5-3
126: Shamar Williams, Apple Valley dec. Colton Schoen, Saint Michael-Albertville, 14-7
132: Dakota Trom, Apple Valley pinned Mark Voss, Saint Michael-Albertville, :50
138: Dayton Racer, Apple Valley pinned Talon Juusola, Saint Michael-Albertville, 1:31
145: Mark Hall, Apple Valley pinned Talon Juusola, Saint Michael-Albertville, :45
152: Mason Manville, Apple Valley pinned Ryan Rostamo, Saint Michael-Albertville, 1:15
160: Brandon Kingsley, Apple Valley pinned Jake Briggs, Saint Michael-Albertville, :22
170: Ben Sullivan, Apple Valley tech fall Thor Holstad, Saint Michael-Albertville
182: Daniel Woiwor, Apple Valley tech fall Ben Haller, Saint Michael-Albertville, 4:44
195: Mitchell Eull, Saint Michael-Albertville dec. Paul Cheney, Apple Valley, 10-6
220: Nick Edling, Saint Michael-Albertville pinned Trom Peterson, Apple Valley, :36
285: Bennie Wilson, Saint Michael-Albertville won by default Zach Martens, Apple Valley