Two teams from the Hiawatha Valley League are the top seeds in two of the three classes at the state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Thursday.

The Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights and Kasson-Mantorville Komets were chosen by the other coaches in the state tournament to be the teams to beat in Class A and AA.

Kenyon-Wanamingo is the top seed in Class A and Kasson-Mantorville in AA, and Thursday they hope to be wrestling their best.

Domination may not be a strong enough word to describe what the nationally ranked Knights have done to their opponents this season.

For example, No. 3 seed Frazee lost to Kenyon-Wanamingo 42-15 during the regular season and the Knights defeated No. 2 rated and No. 2 seeded Class AA Simley 43-21.

The only losses to Minnesota schools came against No. 3 ranked and No. 3 Class 3A state seed Anoka 26-24 and No. 1 rated and No. 1 seed Class 2A Kasson-Mantorville 30-21.

The Knights did not have their full lineup against the Komets.

Kenyon-Wanamingo's other loss was at the Clash Tournament in Rochester to nationally ranked St. Edward, Ohio, 43-10.

The defending state champion Minneota Vikings were rated No. 1 all season, including the last ratings that came out by Guillotine.

To have the coaches in the tournament pick Kenyon-Wanamingo to be the team to beat is an honor Coach Matt Ryan and his squad are not taking lightly.

It won't be easy.

Our wrestling guru Tom Weeks will be calling the action with me at the X on Thursday, and he tells me it will not be an easy feat to even get to the finals for the Knights.

Their first opponent, Caledonia, is loaded with great athletes. The Warriors are a perennial power in football, winning six state titles in the past nine years, including last fall. Caledonia is the Section 1A champion and posts a 16-6 record.

The Knights will need a big lead heading into the upper weights, where Caledonia has some very good wrestlers.

Minneota received the No. 2 seed, and you know that will motivate the defending state champs. Minneota also won the Class A football title last fall, their second consecutive and fifth overall. The Vikings are 26-1 and wrestle West Central Area/Ashby/Evansville in the opening round at 9AM. West Central Area is 23-6.

No. 3 seed Frazee is 20-2 and tangles with Sibley East with a 31-8 record. No. 4 seed Pierz is 26-6 and will go up against No. 5 Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (16-1).

Win or lose, Kenyon-Wanamingo wrestles at 1PM after their 9AM match.

The consolation championship and third-place matches are at 5PM, and the championship is at 7PM.

Kasson-Mantorville is also nationally ranked, making the HVL Conference very proud to have two nationally ranked teams out of their league. The Komets are unbeaten 22-0 and open against Mora (24-4).

In other Class 2A competition, No. 2 seed Simley, with a 25-6 record, faces Totino-Grace at 18-4. No. 3 seed Foley (30-1) wrestles Perham (25-6). No. 4 Scott West (15-5) goes up against No. 5 Wabasso/Red Rock Central (30-2).

Class 2A opening round is at 11AM, and the remainder of the tournament coincides with the other two classes.

In the biggest schools of Class 3A, the top seed is perennial power Apple Valley, another nationally rated team. The Eagles are 17-1 and go up against Hastings (26-9).

No. 2 seed St. Michael-Albertville (19-3) wrestles Minnetonka (17-4). No. 3 seed Anoka (24-1) collides with Centennial (18-4). No. 4 Farmington (21-8) hits the mat with No. 5 Willmar (19-1).

We will keep tabs on the 2A and 3A team competition also, but will be concentrating on bringing you the action in the Kenyon-Wanamingo matches throughout the day and hopefully into the evening.

The Kenyon-Wanamingo matches will be on KDHL Radio 920AM and online at or by downloading the Free RadioPup app on your favorite mobile device.

Below is a picture of employees outside the Security State Bank and Security Insurance Agency sending the wrestlers off with a firetruck escort out of town Wednesday morning.

It's what small town living is all about.

Security State Bank and Security Insurance Agency Employees Sending Wrestlers Off to State
Security State Bank and Security Insurance Agency Employees Sending Wrestlers Off to State

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