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Wrestling notebook: New Shakopee coach, team rankings, 11 among nation’s best

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 01/12/21, 2:45PM CST


Marcus LeVesseur takes over the Sabers’ defending championship team, plus other news and notes about the upcoming season.

Bennett Tabor (right) of Simley, shown competing in the 2020 state tournament, is one of 11 Minnesota wrestlers ranked nationally in the top 10 in their weight classes by Photo: DAVID JOLES •

Two-time defending Class 3A team champion Shakopee has a new coach — Marcus LeVesseur — to replace Jim Jackson, who guided the Sabers to the first two titles in program history.

LeVesseur, a four-time Minnesota high school individual champion at Minneapolis Roosevelt and Bloomington Kennedy, had been one of Jackson’s top assistants.

Jackson, who stepped down last summer, won 18 state titles as coach at Apple Valley and then Shakopee. He compiled a remarkable .938 winning percentage.

With Jackson’s retirement, Simley’s Will Short becomes the leading active coach in Minnesota in winning percentage at .842 (575-108).

State team rankings
The most recent team rankings, by class, provided the

1. Stillwater; 2. Shakopee; 3. St. Michael-Albertville; 4. Wayzata; 5. Forest Lake; 6. Owatonna; 7. Waconia; 8. Bemidji; 9. Anoka; 10. Coon Rapids; 11. Northfield; 12. Farmington.

1. Simley; 2. Kasson-Mantorville; 3. Detroit Lakes; 4. Fairmont/Martin Co. West; 5. Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield; 6. Foley; 7. Marshall; 8. Princeton; 9. Thief River Falls; 10. Becker; 11. Tr-County United; 12. Scott West

1. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville; 2. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City; 3. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; 4. Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland; 5. Minnewaska Area; 6. Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie; 7. Jackson Co. Central; 8. Minneota; 9. Kimball; 10. Blue Earth Area; 11. Chatfield; 12. Canby.

Nationally ranked
Eleven Minnesota wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 nationally at their weight by
106: Tyler Wells, Princeton, No. 3
113: Jore Volk, Lakeville North, No. 6; Blake West, Shakopee, No. 10
132: Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake, No. 9
138: Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater, No. 5
152: Ryan Sokol, Simley, No. 3; Cael Swensen, Wayzata, No. 8
160: Hunter Lyden, Stillwater, No. 7
182: Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville, No. 10
195: Gavin Nelson, Simley, No. 7
220: Bennett Tabor, Simley, No. 5

Simley pair with longest streaks
Simley 152-pounder Ryan Sokol goes into the season with 191 victories, while teammate Quayin Short, a 195-pounder, has 190. Jaxson Rohman, a 132-pounder at Fairmont/Martin County West, leads active wrestlers with 227 wins. The state record holder is Destin McCauley, who graduated from Apple Valley in 2011 with 286.

Will the fourth be with him?
Forest Lake senior Derrick Cardinal, who won the Class 3A 126-pound title last year, seeks his fourth state championship this season. He is ranked No. 1 at 138 pounds.


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