The No. 1 seed in Class 1A? Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville. Think that’s a mouthful? It gets better. The No. 2-seed is Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove. Followed by Kenyon-Wanamingo, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City and Badger/Greenbush-Middle River.
The names might be cumbersome, but they underscore an ongoing concern in the wrestling community: finding enough wrestlers at small schools to fill out a lineup of 14 weights, forcing schools to form cooperatives.
The Minnesota State High School League took a step to address the issue in the offseason, cutting the minimum number of weight classes to 12 and letting teams opt up to 14 weights, an option most teams chose. The verdict on the effectiveness of the experiment is unclear.
LP-GE/Browerville moved into the No. 1-ranking in Class 1A in December after defeating Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/W-WG, the previous No. 1, and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City on the same Saturday. The Wolves are making their second consecutive tournament appearance and appear poised to become a tournament regular with only one senior on the roster.
• Toughest bracket: With three undefeated wrestlers — No. 1 Chandler Mooney, No. 2 Seth Brossard and No. 6 Zack Holtz — it has to be 152 pounds.
• Undefeated: Canon Swanson, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, 42-0 (126); Mason Gode, LP-GE/Browerville, 44-0 (132); Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston, 36-0 (145); Chandler Mooney, Roseau, 43-0; Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo, 41-0 and Zack Holtz, Kimball, 12-0 (152); Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska Area, 35-0 (170).
• Returning champions: Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston, 145 (champion at 138 pounds in 2018); Jaden Kindopp, Canby, 182 (170); Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie, heavyweight (heavyweight).
• Worth watching: There are seven wrestlers at 220 pounds with top five rankings. How? Five who were ranked at 220 — Badger/Greenbush-MR’s Dominik Vacura, Otter Tail Central’s Wyatt Thorson, Westfield’s Dylan Nirk, Ogilvie’s Alex Chidester and BOLD’s Tim Peppel — and two who were highly ranked at 195: Frazee’s Luke Tweeton and Goodhue’s Kodee O’Reilly.