The question came up during the weekly web chat at www.sctimes.com and it was a good one.
Who’s the best high school wrestler in the area? My answer: good question.
It was easy until this year. St. Cloud Apollo’s Mitch Bengtson, owner of a state-record 179-match winning streak and four state titles, was the answer.
Bengtson is at North Dakota State these days, going 11-3 at 141 pounds for the Bison.
He’s gone and the question is a lot more difficult.
The Guillotine, the state amateur wrestling media entity at wwww.theguillotine.com, is the definitive Internet site for a question like that.
It just came out with its first set of state rankings. They come out every two weeks during the season and I enjoy pouring over them, seeing who has moved up and down, both individually and team-wise.
And while the rankings are based only on a particular weight and a particular class, one can glean some insight into the question by looking at The Guillotine’s ratings.
In Class 3A, there is one area wrestler ranked in the top four in any weight. That’s Apollo’s Bryce Kirchner at 285.
In Class 2A, where Foley is ranked No. 1, the Falcons’ highest-ranked wrestler is Tyler Funk, who is second at 126.
Becker’s Bobby Lee is ranked second at 170. There are two No. 3s: Albany’s Carter Holthaus at 152 and Foley’s Tyler Midas at 182.
It’s Class A where we have two No. 1s: Kimball’s Quinten Berres at 132 and Royalton/Upsala’s Mitch Lange at 170.
I admit I’m not sure out of that impressive group who’s No. 1. I’ve seen all of them wrestle some place, mostly at the state tournament, and could make a case for any of the seven.
Kirchner is committed to St. Cloud State, which just set a national record for consecutive dual meet wins Thursday night by beating a good St. John’s squad, 38-0.
The Foley kids are both studs. Bobby Lee is a great athlete. Holthaus is a tough, good kid. Berres and Lange are both really good, too, and potential state champions.
All of the seven have a shot at gold medals.
So, I’ve narrowed it down to seven. Is that enough? It’ll have to be for now.
Check back with me in March.