The smiles were faint, the fan reaction polite, at best.
St. Michael-Albertville and Apple Valley battled to an unsatisfying 28-28 in the Class 3A championship match. By Minnesota State High School League rules, there is no tiebreaker in the championship match, meaning the 2013 record books will forever list co-champions.
“I’m not sure how to feel,” said St. Michael-Albertville heavyweight Michael Kessler. “I’m happy, but it would have been nice to win it.”
“We had a goal of becoming state champions and that’s what we are,” said St. Michael-Albertville coach Dan Lefebvre with the aplomb of a politician. “People might not like co-champions, but these are two very good teams. We both wrestled well.”
For most of the night, the match that high school wrestling fans had anticipated and argued about for an entire season lived up to its billing.
The Eagles, wrestling with an enormous chip on its shoulder and utilizing expert tinkering from head coach Dalen Wasmund, fought off everything the No. 1-ranked Knights threw at them and emerged with its eighth-straight Class 3A championship.