Prep Wrestling: Willmar holds No. 5 spot in Class AAA
Area wrestlers haven't even hit the mats yet competitively but that hasn't stopped them from standing out.
The Guillotine, a website dedicated to Minnesota amateur wrestling, released its preseason team and individual rankings on Nov. 10, marking a number of local athletes in its top 10 for each weight class.
Willmar captured the area's top team ranking with a No. 5 spot on the list in Class AAA. Apple Valley, Anoka, Prior Lake and St. Michael-Albertville hold the top four spots as the Cardinals get ready to begin the season as favorites to win Section 8AAA.
KMS and Litchfield each made it onto the top 10 in classes A and AA, respectively, as the No. 9 teams.
Individually, Willmar led the way for area talent with three top-ranked wrestlers in Israel Navarro (132 pounds), Cael Carlson (138) and Clay Carlson (145). Lincoln Shinn also ranked third at 182 pounds. Cael Carlson was also recognized as the fifth-best pound-for-pound wrestler in his grade from 2017.
KMS' Will Magaard (106) is the only other top-ranked area grappler but he's far from the only one to be ranked. The Saints have three others in the top 10 in Class A with Jared Carlson (126) ranked ninth, Jonathan Tostenson (132) ranked ninth and Dylan Rudningen (152) ranked 10th. ACGC's Skye Powers joins Tostenson at 132 pounds, ranked eighth. Falcons teammates CJ Toedter (182) and Tanner Berghuis (220) also earned rankings at ninth and 10th, respectively.
BBE ties KMS with four ranked wrestlers: Canon Swanson (120, eighth), Tyler Bents (138, seventh), Adam Jaeger (152, second) and Isaiah Gilbert (160, fourth). Swanson was also ranked the fifth-best pound-for-pound freshman wrestler in 2017. Paynesville's Shawn Rue (138) earned a No. 3 ranking and teammate Grant Ludwig (220) is tabbed for fifth. Tyson Meyer (160) and Tyler VanLuik (195) also earned rankings at seven and eight.
In Class AA, Litchfield's No. 9 ranking was backed by five Dragons listed in the top 10 for their weight class. Jerry Simes starts it off with a No. 4 rank at 106 pounds, followed by Afton (120) and Ezra Kaping (126) at sixth and eighth, respectively. Logan Nelson (145) and Kal Jackman (170) also made it at No. 3 and No. 7.
New London-Spicer's Nate Thein grabbed a spot at No. 7 at 138 pounds and United's Peyton Mortenson ranked No. 2 at 152 pounds.