Mitchell McKee was a Cadet National Greco-Roman champion this past summer (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
The nation's first dual meet showdown of top ten teams will take place in Minnesota on Friday night, which is fitting since The Clash: National High School Wrestling Duals will be in Rochester, Minn. at month's end. On Friday, No. 8 Simley travels to No. 5 St. Michael-Albertville.
Having won five straight state titles as a program, and nine in all, Simley is used to this type of positioning. The Spartans ended last year 11th in the Fab 50 team rankings. Though St. Michael-Albertville has won six state titles in program history, being ranked this high is a new phenomenon. The Knights ended last year 42nd in the rankings: and when the young squad they had last year is combined with three transfers that placed in the Class 1A state tournament for Kimball, this excellent team results.
The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown of what should be an awesome dual meet (state rankings provided by The Guillotine: Simley is in Class 2A, STMA in Class 3A).
106: Cortez Arredondo (Simley) vs. No. 7 Mitchell McKee (STMA). Returning state qualifier Arredondo is ranked fourth in his classification, while McKee was a runner-up in Class 1A last year and is top-ranked in 3A to start this season.
113: Kyle Nordstrom (Simley) vs. Aaron Dick (STMA). Returning state qualifier Dick is ranked seventh in his classification.
120: Zach Spychalla (Simley) vs. No. 2 Tommy Thorn (STMA). Two-time state champion Thorn was a Junior National freestyle champion this summer, and is the top-ranked wrestler in his classification to start the season.
126: Kyle Gliva (Simley) vs. Tanner Mills (STMA). Two-time state champion Gliva is tops in his weight to start the season, while Mills placed third in Class 1A last year and is third in 3A to start this season.
132: Juan Torres (Simley) vs. Mark Voss (STMA). This is a battle of top ranked wrestlers to start the season; Torres was a state champion last year, and Voss finished second.
138: Hector Rabelo (Simley) vs. Cole Sladek (STMA). Sladek is a three-time state placer and starts the season tops in his classification at this weight.
145: No.1 Jake Short (Simley) vs. Lincoln Mallinger (STMA). Short is a three-time state champion and ranked first in his classification at 152, while Mallinger placed third at state last year and is fourth in the preseason rankings.
152: McKinnon Short (Simley) vs. M. Herian/B. Blees (STMA). The younger Short is ranked first in the preseason at 145, and placed fourth at state last year.
160: Collin McCallister (Simley) vs. T. Holstad/R. Rostimo (STMA)
170: No. 4 Nick Wanzek (Simley) vs. Jordan Joseph (STMA). The two-time state champion Wanzek enters the season tops in his classification, while Joseph placed fourth in Class 1A last year and starts the season fourth in the rankings.
182: Logan Busch (Simley) vs. Jake Briggs (STMA). Returning state qualifier Busch enters the season tenth in his classification.
195: C. Baumann (Simley) vs. Ricky Briggs (STMA). Returning state runner-up Briggs starts the season ranked fourth.
220: Jackson Ryan (Simley) vs. Mitchell Eull (STMA). Returning state qualifier Ryan starts the season seventh in his classification, while state third placer Eull is ranked fourth in the preseason.
285: Brandt Olson (Simley) vs. Michael Kessler (STMA). Returning state qualifier Kessler is ranked fourth to start the season.