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Simley wins 2A title with nine pins to bolster its case for national wrestling greatness

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 03/26/21, 4:30PM CDT

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Coach Will Short calls his squad, undefeated for two seasons, “the best team public school team in the country.’’


Simley's Bennett Tabor held up his team's Class 2A championship trophy after the Spartans defeated Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield 68-6 on Friday at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Photo: David Joles * david.joles@startribune.com

The word throughout the wrestling community all season was that Simley was running out not only the best team in program history, but perhaps the best high school team Minnesota has produced.

After the Spartans (28-0) thoroughly whipped Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield in the Class 2A team championship match Friday, racking up nine pins in a 68-6 victory, it would be hard to argue the point.

Spartans coach Will Short went a step further.

“I believe we’re the best public school team in the country,” he said. “We just had to make sure we finished out the perfect seasons, two in a row. I think we’ve won something like 64, 65 dual meets in a row.”

Knowing his team was notches above the rest of the teams in the state, Short spent the season working his wrestlers hard, knowing what they could accomplish. He never missed a chance to remind them that high reputations often lead to precipitous falls.

“I worked them probably harder than I ever have,” he said. “I’m constantly challenging them, letting them know there’s a big target on their backs. We don’t want to be anybody’s big victory.”

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