Many of the wrestlers on No. 1-ranked Minneota’s roster are making their second trip to the Twin Cities this year hoping for equal success. The Vikings won the Class 1A football championship in November, defeating Dawson-Boyd 28-14. Of their 14 starting wrestlers, 12 played for that team. Eight qualified for the individual tournament as well: Brock Buysse (113 pounds), Brendan Reiss (120), Kyle Hennen (126), Bryce Bruner (36-3), Leo Buysse (152), Nicholas Esping (160), Cole Hennen (195) and Trent Esping (heavyweight).

• If Minneota gets past Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the quarterfinals, the Vikings could face No. 5-seeded Jackson County Central in the semifinals. Jackson County Central, which must first avenge an early January loss to No. 4 Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in the quarterfinals, defeated Minneota in the 2014 quarterfinals.

• Frazee coach Clay Nagel is back in the state tournament for the first time in a decade. Nagel left Frazee in 2004 after 17 seasons and three state championships to coach at Concordia College. He was named to his second stint as the Hornets’ coach last summer.

• Minneota defeated No. 2-seeded Frazee 38-22 in the finals of the Les Kertscher Duals in Frazee on Dec. 20.


• Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial qualified 11 individuals, the most in Class 1A, including undefeated senior 132-pounder Louie Sanders (36-0), the defending 126-pound champion.

• Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale senior Dillon Card missed most of the season because of a hand injury but returned to win the 220-pound championship in Section 6. Card (8-0) is the top seed at that weight.

• It wouldn’t be a state tournament without the Moore brothers from Jackson County Central. There are two in the field this year, both ranked No. 1 at his weight. Keegan Moore is 40-0 at 182 pounds and senior Paden Moore is 39-1 at 160 pounds.

• The Class 1A field has 16 undefeated wrestlers. There are only 13 total in Classes 3A and 2A.

Jim Paulsen