Mitch Vedders has been part of the Milaca-Foley wrestling rivalry before. At 7:30 p.m. Friday in Milaca, however, it’ll be the first time as a head coach.
He and Clay Hoeck are Milaca’s co-head coaches, replacing Randy Zimmer, who retired.
“It’s always fun to go against Foley,” Vedders said Monday. “It’s been a big rivalry for so long, it’s a part of who we are.
“There’s not too much nervousness or anything. We’ll just go out and wrestle hard.”
Milaca is receiving honorable mention in the state Class 2A poll by The Guillotine, a state-wide amateur wrestling media entity. Foley is third in the rankings.
The Wolves have two state-ranked wrestlers at the moment. Senior Joey Curtis is 10th at 132 and junior Brandon Merten is ninth at 285. Junior Ray Hoffman is having a strong season at 113.
“We’re doing good,” Vedders said. “We’re getting better health-wise.
“We’re a pretty young team yet and the guys are still learning. We’re excited for Foley. They are always good competition.”
Maybe, just maybe, Foley might be at full strength for the first time all season.
“We still had two varsity kids out (Saturday at Forest Lake),” Foley head coach Lyle Freudenberg said. “It should be a good dual. We’re healthier than we’ve been in six weeks.”
Luke Kelvington’s shoulder is healing. Freudenberg hopes the junior 160-pounder is ready to go, as he does senior 132-pounder Keith Thell, who has been ill.
The Falcons had a great, come-from-behind win over Ellsworth (Wis.) at Forest Lake, tailing 27-15 and then getting four straight wins from Tyler Midas at 182, Mitch Struffert at 195, Mitch Keeler at 220 and Cameron Svihla at 285.
“Three of those four have been ranked this year,” Freudenberg said. “They did a nice job competing for us.”
Five Falcons appear in the current rankings: No. 3 Tyler Funk at 120, No. 3 Tristan Manderfeld at 12, Thell (No. 5 at 132), No. 8 Carter Nielsen at 138 and Midas (No. 8 at 182).
Freudenberg anticipates a good match Friday.
“They (the Wolves) always have a nice team,” Freudenberg said. “We’ll probably talk a little more about (Friday) because it’s such a good rivalry.
“But we don’t dwell on it too much. We just talk about the kids trying to get better every day and to develop their techniques, things like that.
You could call Sartell-St. Cloud Tech a special rivalry in girls basketball.
The teams play at 7:30 tonight at Tech.
Sartell head coach Katie Martin and Tech head coach Sascha Hansen were teammates at St. Cloud State. But it goes further than that.
Hansen teaches health at Sartell.
“It’d be fun to beat them, because Sascha is the coach,” Sartell senior guard Ashton Haider said. “We all see her at school.”
Sartell won the first meeting, 44-43 Dec. 18 at Sartell.
“It was really intense,” Sartell senior guard Taylor Mareck said.
Tech is 6-5 in the Central Lakes Conference, 10-8 overall. Sartell is 7-4 and 11-7.
“That’s a big conference game for us,” Hansen said. “It’s going to be exciting.
“If we lose, the (Sartell) kids will let me know.”
Call Friday’s boys basketball game at Holy Family Catholic a memorable one for Annandale’s Brett Ahsenmacher.
Ahsenmacher scored his 1,000th career point in the Cardinals’ 79-76 double-overtime win. What made the milestone so notable to head coach Skip Dolan is Ahsenmacher’s timing.
The senior guard needed 19 points to reach 1,000. He got it during the extra periods, when he went 12-for-14 from the free throw line and finished with 28 points. He was 18 of 24 from the line in the game.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better for us,” Dolan said. “Every one of those free throws were really needed.”
Ahsenmacher will be honored before tonight’s home game with Glencoe-Silver Lake.
“He’s a young man who works incredibly hard and puts in a tremendous amount of time to improve his game,” Dolan said. “He’s especially deserving.”
Dolan also said Holy Family head coach Joe Burger made an especially classy gesture after the game, giving Ahsenmacher the game ball.
* The Holdingford wrestling team faces Royalton/Upsala at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Upsala, then wrestles Friday at Pierz in a pivotal Central Minnesota Conference meet.
New state rankings by The Guilliotine came out Friday. Holdingford’s state-ranked wrestlers in Class A include: No. 6 Zach Scott at 113, No. 6 Trevor Scott at 145, No. 9 Kyle Kolstad at 160 and No. 5 Mitch Messman at 195.
* For Royalton/Upsala, Mitch Lange is ranked second at 160. Cory Wensman is seventh at 220.
* For Pierz, Chris Ortman is ranked fifth at 126. Also ranked for the Pioneers: No. 7 Brad Meyer at 152.
Pierz is ranked seventh in the state. Holdingford is listed in the “lean and mean” honorable-mentions.
* Section 6A has five of the top 10 boys hockey scorers in the state, led by St. Cloud Apollo’s Jared Christen (56), who leads the state.
Morris/Benson’s Tanner Picht (54) is second, Apollo’s Paul Kenney (48) and Willmar’s Hunter Schneider (48) are tied for sixth and Morris/Benson’s Mac Beyer (47) is eighth.
Kimball senior guard Paiten Schreiner was named the Central Minnesota Conference female athlete of the week. Paiten tied a school record by make five three-pointers in a game, scoring 16 points and getting nine rebounds in a conference win. The male athlete of the week is Eden Valley-Watkins’ Jared Streit. The sophomore post had 44 points and 27 rebounds in two games for the Eagles.