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When walking into the practice wrestling facility at Apple Valley High School, the theme is clear:* Champions.

?National Champions? is scrawled in five-foot block letters across one wall of the facility.* The words adorn coaches? and players? practice gear.

And when wrestling head coach James Jackson urges his wrestlers to give him another sprint, crunch or drill he doesn?t yell or scream or even raise his voice.* In an even tone, Jackson simply asks his team, ?What do champions do??

?One more,? they reply in unison.

There may not be a better word than ?champions? to describe the 2010-11 class of Apple Valley wrestlers.* In high school wrestling, Apple Valley is the team that has faced the best in the nation and sent them home defeated.

The Eagles wrestling team peaked early this season, winning two prominent national tournaments?The Clash in Rochester (MN) and the Cheesehead in Kaukauna (WI)?over a 10-day span in late December and early January.

?We wrestled Brandon (FL), who was rated third in the country, and Blair Academy (NJ), who was ranked second, and we beat both of them soundly,? Jackson said.

But to understand Apple Valley wrestling?s storied success, it?s necessary to look to the roots of a program that has been to the state wrestling tournament every year since 1983, taking 18 state titles.

To continue reading about the Apple Valley Wrestling Program by Jeff Roberts from the Apple Valley Patch