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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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St. Michael-Albertville

St. Michael-Albertville takes its turn on top

By Tim Leighton, Pioneer Press

Members of the St. Michael-Albertville varsity wrestling squad are, front row, from left: Michael Kessler (senior, 220 pounds) and Ricky Briggs (senior, 195 pound); and back row, from left: Tommy Thorn (junior, 120 pounds), Mark Voss (junior, 132 pounds), Cole Sladek (senior, 138 pounds), Lincoln Mallinger (senior, 145 pounds). (Richard Marshall/Pioneer Press)

Dan Lefebvre assembled his St. Michael-Albertville High School wrestlers last week to deliver the practice plans that would comprise their day and the news that would make their day.

Congratulations, the coach told his Knights. You are the top-ranked team in Minnesota's Class 3A.

Now comes the hard part: supplanting Apple Valley as state champions.

"Life won't change because we're top-ranked," said 138-pounder Cole Sladek, one of seven seniors in the starting lineup. "We know better than to get too excited. We still have unfinished business."

That unfinished business is a familiar foe: Apple Valley, winner of the past seven big-school state championships and 14 Class 3A title since 1997.

In fact, Apple Valley has...

CLICK HERE to read the full article. Courtesy: Pioneer Press

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