Scott West freshman Matt Randolph won two matches at the Class AA state championships at St. Michael-Albertville last Friday, March 26, to advance to the 106 pound championship, where he was defeated 6-1 by fourth-ranked Jack Nelson (34-0) of Mound Westonka in the finals.
“Matt had a great season,” said Coach Jerold Stauffacher. “In the finals Matt gave up a cheap near-fall and it kinda took him out of his game. (Nelson) wrestled a great match.”
Randolph, who wrestled at 113 pounds for much of the season, was ranked #1 at 106AA for the entire season. He finished 30-2, his only losses to Nelson and Alan Koehler from Prior Lake.
Koehler (34-1) won the 106-pound title in Class AAA.
Randolph opened Friday’s action with a 5-3 victory over third-ranked sophomore Gavin Peterson (31-5) of Cannon Falls.
“To place as a freshman is difficult and to have your two losses on the year to be to Prior Lake’s 106 pound champ and then the loss in the state finals, that is a pretty good year,” Stauffacher said. “(He) will bounce back and get right back to work on trying to get to the top of the hill.”
The semi-final match paired Randolph with fifth-ranked Brandon Morvari (29-4) from Simley.
Morvari and his Simley teammates had won the Class AA team title earlier in the day. Extra time was needed before Randolph scored a takedown for a 7-5 victory. Morvari defeated the other Section 2AA qualified Parker Kamm of New Ulm 11-5 in the third place match.
Zach Tracy, Tory Pumper, Landon Church, Luke Fogarty, and Carson Schoenbauer were also considered “State Qualifiers” based on their finish at the Section 2AA-3AA State Prelim rounds held at Redwood Valley on March 20.
Austin Gabbert of Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran was the lone champion from Section 2AA, winning the championship at 126 pounds.
Other 2AA place winners included Kamm (New Ulm, 4th at 106), Chris Johnson (TCU, 6th at 113), Mason Gehloff (Waseca, 4th at 120), Bryce Burkett (WMML, 5th at 145), Damian Riewe (Mankato West, 5th at 152), Cale Luthens (Hutchinson, 5th at 170), Cole Ranweiler (5th at 182), Gannon Rosenfeld (Mankato West, 3rd at 195), Hayden VanderVoort (Hutchinson, 5th at 195), and Riley O’Malley (TCU, 5th at 220).