St. Michael-Albertville Wrestlers Roll into Home Duals

Buffalo, Hutchinson and Zimmerman roll into St. Michael-Albertville High School for a Friday night quadrangular. Saturday, the Knights welcome Prior Lake and Foley for the final regular season homestand.

Thewerestling team will close out the 2012 home schedule (regular season) this weekend with a flury of action, beginning tonight at 5 p.m. at the gym.

The Knights welcome Buffalo, Zimmerman and Hutchinson to St. Michael tonight, then tangle with Prior Lake and Foley Saturday before hitting the road next weekend to close out the regular season in Big Lake and SImley.

They'll return home for the Section 7-3A team tournament, which is set for Feb. 17.

"Our fan support has been awesome this year," said head coach Dan Lefebvre in his weekly wrestling update, sent to fans and alumni. "I promise you, the wrestlers and coaches really appreciate it."

The Knights, ranked No. 2 in Class AAA, secured the Section 7-3A top seed with a at home last week, done without Nick Edling, a senior ranked No. 1 at the 220-pound class in AAA.

The Knights also rattled off wins last week at the Irondale Invite, rolling to dual wins over the home squad (55-15), Eden Prairie (50-15), Annandale-Maple Lake (50-15) and Sibley East (56-14). That puts the Knights at 16-4 in duals going into this weekend.

But this weekend will hold some true tests. Hutch is ranked No. 9 in Class 2A, while Foley is ranked No. 3 in 2A, and both are coming to town this weekend. Zimmerman bosts a top ranked wreslter at 195 puonds in Mitch Robison, and Buffalo has tanner Maus, ranked No. 9 at 160 pounds.

Prior Lake, meanwhile, is in the top 10 in Class 3A and has three ranked wrestlers, including No. 3 Tanner Johnshoy, who will square off with top-ranked Tommy Thorn of STMA at 113 pounds.

Thorn has lost once all season, but will have two big tests in Johnshoy and Foley's Trisan Manderfeld, who is ranked No. 2 in Class AA at 113 pounds and is nationally ranked. 

The Knights will be without Edling, Cole Sladek and Ricky Briggs, who are nursing injuries. All three are ranked in their weight classes.

"We're really hoping to be at full strength come team sections," Lefebvre said. "It will be interesting to figure out if we can find a way to win the dual [vs. Foley] with three of our top starters out."

Foley is strong, and will challenge some of the Knights' hotter wrestlers. Wayne Voss has worked his way up to No. 4 at 145 pounds, and will face off with Class 2A No. 5 Tyler Benboom. Jake Briggs, who has stepped up lately, will wrestle Teren Kampa in a match that could decide the outcome. And Mike Kessler, No. 4 at 285, will want to avenge a loss to Foley's Sam Olson back at the Kiffmeyer Duals in St. Cloud.

"Mike's certainly of capable of getting the win there, and we'll probably need it," Lefebvre said. "He didn't wrestle one of his best matches and lost 5-1 last time."

Also on fire has been Mark Voss, who is now No. 3 at 132 pounds, and beat two top-ranked wrestlers last week in Irondale, and had Eden Prairie's Sam Brancale on the ropes as well. Brancale is unbeaten at 132 and is a Golden Gopher recruit.

Action Friday night begins at 5 p.m. at the high school. Saturday's duals start at 10 p.m., with the big dual vs. Foley at 1 p.m.


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