Apple Valley steamrolls to ninth consecutive Class 3A wrestling title

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN
  • Updated: February 27, 2014 - 10:50 PM
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Apple Valley’s Kyle Rathman tried to turn Zack Smith of Prior Lake on his back during the 106-pound match on Thursday in the Class 3A team final at Xcel Energy Center.

Photo: KYNDELL HARKNESS • kyndell.harkness@startribune.com,

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It’s difficult to determine exactly what makes Apple Valley wrestling special — ask a dozen people, get a dozen different answers. What motivates the Eagles is much easier to pin down.

The Goliath of Minnesota wrestling crushed three consecutive Davids to win its ninth consecutive Class 3A team championship, outscoring its opponents 185-16, capped by a 56-9 victory over No. 3-seeded Prior Lake in the finals.

So Apple Valley sits atop the Minnesota’s wrestling world again, weathering storms and withstanding controversy, almost as if it were too big to fail — which just may be the case.

“We take [the state tournament] very seriously,” said senior heavyweight Lord Josh Hyeamang, who didn’t wrestle in the finals because the outcome was already decided. “It’s all about getting better, improving. We never want to be stagnant. This year, our goal was to show everyone just how big the gap still is.”

Hyeamang is an intelligent young man; he’s committed to play football at Columbia in the Ivy League. He understands the importance of the state meet but also knows that to stay on top, goals must be set unusually high.

“Winning the state tournament is our goal, but we judge ourselves more against teams nationally,” he said. “We don’t overlook anyone, though. You can’t win a national championship if you don’t win the state.”

For junior 182-pounder Bobby Steveson, who moved with his family from Indiana to Minnesota last spring, being a member of an elite program like Apple Valley has revitalized him.

“Here, everyone loves wrestling. Even if it’s 90 degrees outside, the wrestling room is packed,” he said. “I feel refreshed here.”

Lest anyone think the Eagles are an emotionless machine, senior 138-pounder Seth Gross proved otherwise. “It’s all about the guys in the room,” Gross said, his voice cracking. “We push each other and lean on each other.

“That’s what this is all about.”

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 69 4th Qtr 5:51
Chicago 99
Golden State 48 3rd Qtr
Milwaukee 38
Oklahoma City 46 2nd Qtr 2:58
Utah 41
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 3rd Prd 15:45
Minnesota 2
Columbus 3 3rd Prd 15:13
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 0 2nd Prd 18:18
Colorado 2
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 39 2nd Half 16:00
Kentucky 40
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 2nd Half 26:00
Houston 0
Seattle 0 2nd Half 26:00
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73

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