Simley's Short earns his place in family lore

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 4, 2012 - 2:38 AM

The Simley 145-pounder won his third consecutive state title, a first in his family.

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Micah Barnes of Simley took Miles Hammerlund of Delano to the mat in the 170-pound match. Barnes won the state title, finishing a 44-0 season.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Startribune Staff Photo

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Simley's Jake Short wrestled two opponents in Saturday's Class 2A 145-pound finals and beat them both. He pinned Tim Ostby of Morris/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta at the state meet in Xcel Energy Center for this third consecutive individual championship.

And he emerged from the shadow of his celebrated wrestling family, becoming the first member of the clan with three titles.

"I felt like there was a lot of pressure on me and this is a huge relief," said Short, a junior who will have a chance to win a fourth championship next year. "This is for bragging rights in the family. That will be nice."

Driven by dad's memory

Rockford's John Redepenning had to make a choice between basketball and wrestling in seventh grade. The decision was simple.

"My dad was a wrestler, so that's what I did. I think that's what he would have wanted," said the senior 160-pounder moments after rallying for an 11-5 victory over Sam Haas of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley.

Redepenning's father died in an accident in 1999. John said his father's memory was his primary motivation. "I dedicated it to my dad," he said. "I think about him before every match."

Kroells dominates tough bracket

Wrestling in what was considered to be the most competitive bracket in the state tournament, Michael Kroells of Scott West made his way through with ease. Kroells clinched the Class 2A heavyweight title with an 8-2 victory over defending champion Austin Goergen of Caledonia. Kroells finished the season 48-0.

CLASS 1A

As Kenyon-Wanamingo senior Oakley McLain waited and watched his teammate and best wrestling friend, Mitchel Lexvold, win a state championship, he had to remind himself that he had his own match to prepare for.

"I was watching him and I'd start to get wrapped up in what he was doing. I had to stop and tell myself that I better be ready," he said.

McLain beat Hayden Rouser of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 4-2 to win at 126 pounds for his second consecutive state title. "We've gone through so much together and trained together, it just makes it so much better for us both to win," McLain said.

Maas entertains while he wins

Winning his third state championship in a row with a second-period pin of Frazee's Rij Koehnen, Medford 152-pounder Curt Maas admitted that it's been a long time since he's felt nervous on prep wrestling's biggest stage.

"Actually, it's really cool to do it in front of all these people," Maas said. "I like to put on a little bit of a show. The people love the pins."

No miracle for Yeager

Defending heavyweight champion Alex Yeager of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River needed a miracle pin in the final two seconds to win his quarterfinal match. In Saturday's final, he trailed Paynesville's Dominick Platow in the third period. This time, however, he had no miracle finish. Trying desperately to catch up, Yeager was pinned by Platow in the final minute.

  • CLASS 2A AND 1A

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