Despite King’s optimism, Brandon Valley is the consensus choice as the team to beat, not surprising in that the Lynx are undefeated in dual action this season, including wins over most of the likely contenders. Among the victories, a 40-27 win over Stevens in late January.
Top seeds Trason Oehme (22-0, 126 pounds), Isaac Klinkhammer (25-0, 160) and Navarro Schunke (39-0, 285) are among the notables on the Lynx squad.
“You have to concede Brandon Valley as the favorite, and I think you put Pierre and Watertown and us in the next tier, and then Mitchell and Sturgis and Watertown in there, too,” King said. “Brandon Valley is the favorite, but we will have a team ready to compete.”
Rapid City Central senior Cael Larson (29-0 and top-seeded at 138, is one of nine undefeated Class A competitors in action this weekend. One of four returning state champions, Larson, a Northern State University commit, earned the gold medal at 120 pounds last season.
“Cael has taken his wrestling to a whole other level,” Cobbler coach Lance Pearson said. “During the offseason, he was able to go up and wrestle with some of the guys who are going to be his teammates at Northern next year. He got a lot of work over the summer with some college-level kids, and you can see that it helped him as far as his confidence, and he is wrestling at a whole other level.”