Class AA State Wrestling Recap
Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 9:24 PM
Class AA championship
Minnesota high school wrestling’s best rivalry of late added another chapter to its rich history when top-ranked Simley raced to a 47-21 victory over Kasson-Mantorville in the Class AA championship dual on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center.
Simley, located in Inver Grove Heights, won the Class AA championship for the fourth consecutive season and 11th time since 2008. There were four other Class AA championships in 1987, ’88, 89 and ’92 under legendary coach Jim Short, the architect of Simley’s success for the past three-plus decades. The only interruptions in that championship stretch since 2008 were courtesy of Kasson-Mantorville. The KoMets (28-2) won three consecutive Class AA crowns from 2016-18.
Simley (28-1), a squad with 16 non-seniors, suffered its only loss on Jan. 6 to Southeast Polk, Iowa, by a score of 40-27.
The Spartans were in control from the start with victories in each of the first seven matches which created a 37-0 advantage. Sophomore Austin Grzywinski began the avalanche of victories with a pin at 103 pounds. The power continued through 145 pounds when junior Kaiden Schrandt recorded a decision.
Kasson-Mantorville later gained some momentum with three consecutive wins from 170 through 195 when senior Bennett Berge improved to 45-0 this season won with a pin.
Simley advanced to its latest appearance in the Class AA championship match by rolling to a 51-10 victory over Watertown Mayer/Mayer Lutheran in the semifinals. In the upper-bracket semifinal, Kasson-Mantorville topped Becker 31-24.
Becker 20-1) finished just where the seedings figured with a narrow 29-28 victory over No. 4 Watertown Mayer/Watertown Mayer in the third-place match. The Bulldogs won five of six matches during a run that began at 113 pounds and continued through a pin by senior Mason Ducette at 152. Watertown-Mayer (23-5) responded with five consecutive victories before Becker senior heavyweight Bryce Kuschel closed out the dual with a 10-4 decision.
Thief River Falls, the Section 8AA champion, finished the season with a victory following a 40-25 win over Fairmont/Martin County West in the consolation final. The Prowlers (22-6) won four of the final five matches to turn what had been a deficit into a double-
digit victory. The Red Bulls (24-3) had a string of three consecutive victories early in the match, all that created bonus points.