It’s a bit early, but this just might be Minnesota wrestling’s battle to see who is “best in the state.”
The winner of tonight’s duel between St. Michael-Albertville and Simley High (of Inver Grove) will certainly have some rights to that title when they walk away from the mats tonight. The Knights are ranked No. 5 in the country by Intermat magazine, with Simley ranked ninth. Amateur Wrestling has STMA ninth, with Spartans right behind in 10th place.
Either way, it’s going to be a huge battle at 7 p.m. at the STMA gym.
“This may be the most high profile home dual meet in STMA history,” said head coach Dan Lefebvre. “They bring a very talented group.”
According to Lefebvre, Simley is led by their four senior state champions: 2012 state champion Juan Torres, two-time champion and NDSU recruit Kyle Gliva, two time champion and U of M recruit Nick Wanzek and three time champion and University of Minnesota recruit Jake Short along with state placewinner junior Mack Short and state entrant sophomore Jackson Ryan.
St. Michael, of course, counters with two-time state champion and national title holder Tommy Thorn, a junior. Cole Sladek, a senior, is a national finalist and ranked recruit to North Dakota State University. Lincoln Mallinger is another national recruit for the Knights. And senior Mike Kessler is ranked statewide at heavyweight.
Lefebvre gives this overview:
Juan Torres has been missing from the line-up to start the year. Should he be back, he would most likely match up with state champion Tommy Thorn at 126.
Kyle Gliva has been wrestling 138 to start the year and will be at either 132 or 138, which will match him up with either #3 ranked Tanner Mills at 132 or #1 ranked Mark Voss at 138.
Nick Wanzek will most likely wrestle 170 or 182 which matches him up with either #4 ranked Jordan Joseph or Jake Briggs.
Jake Short has been wrestling 145, which will match him up with #1 ranked Cole Sladek.
Mack Short will most likely wrestle 152, which will match him up with #4 ranked Lincoln Mallinger.
Jackson Ryan will most likely wrestle 285, which will match him up with #4 ranked Mike Kessler.
Other Key Match-Ups
#4 ranked at 106 Cortez Arredondo will match up with either #1 ranked Mitchell McKee or #7 ranked Aaron Dick.
#10 ranked at 182 Logan Busch will match up with Jake Briggs or #4 ranked at 195 Ricky Briggs.
Projected STMA Line-Up
106 Mitchell McKee
113 Aaron Dick
120 Colten Schoen
126 Tommy Thorn
132 Tanner Mills
138 Mark Voss
145 Cole Sladek
152 Lincoln Mallinger
160 Thor Holstad
170 Jordan Joseph
182 Jake Briggs
195 Ricky Briggs
220 Mitchell Eull
285 Mike Kessler