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Thread: Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

  1. #1

    Default Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

    Apple Valley won yet another state title in wrestling and ? lean in, listen intently ? there were barely a few detectable boos.

    That hasn't always been the case.

    Over the years, when the Eagles have taken the mat or left it with a victory, there have been easily detectable boos.

    Loud boos.

    Long boos.

    Anti-Apple Valley boos.

    High school sports are supposed to be about sportsmanship. That concept has gotten shoved aside when the Eagles have been involved. And it has been like that for the past decade.

    While just about everybody loves an underdog, a lot of people aren't fond of the team or the individual that always seems to pulverize opponents.

    You know how some people love to hate the New York Yankees? It's like that with Apple Valley. Only the Eagles have won more championships than the Yankees over the past three decades.

    Name any sport at any level ? high school, college or pro ? and Apple Valley is one of the most dominant anywhere. The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the nation among high school wrestling programs, and that top ranking is in the four most prestigious polls. Between 125 pounds and 160 pounds, the Eagles have been able to come at teams with their own version of Murderers' Row: Six defending state champions in individual competition.

    On Thursday, Apple Valley crushed White Bear Lake (65-12 in the Class AAA quarterfinals), Prior Lake (70-0 in the semifinals) and St. Michael-Albertville (61-6 in
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    the state finals) by the combined score of 196-18. It was the Eagles' 19th state championship since 1983 and 12th in the past 13 years in Class AAA. The year they didn't win, 2005, people cheered. Not for the team that beat them, but because Apple Valley lost.

    "You never want to see kids booed," said Pete Buesgens, Apple Valley's athletics director. "I know these kids and how hard they work, and what they've sacrificed to be great wrestlers. You want to see that appreciated and not see kids booed because of a name on the front of a singlet."

    The worst of it for Buesgens was in 2003, when Trevor Laws lost in the state individual finals. Laws still is an Eagle ? a Philadelphia Eagle. Now an NFL defensive tackle, Laws was the defending state champion in the heavyweight division when he lost in '03 to Hutchinson's John May. People cheered wildly ? because Laws lost.

    "This place went crazy when he lost," Buesgens said. "I remember walking with him underneath the arena afterwards, with my arm around him, and he looked at me and said, 'Why do they hate me so much?' Here's a high school kid who really internalized that and felt it wasn't directed at Apple Valley, it was directed at him. I had to remind him it wasn't him. It was Apple Valley."

    Some people resent the Eagles purely because of their success, and some buy into allegations that Apple Valley recruits wrestlers, and they use that to stoke resentment. Destin McCauley, who will go after his fifth state individual title this weekend, said it was the other way around with him. He recruited Apple Valley, moving there from North Sioux City, S.D., as a sixth-grader.

    Since his first individual state title as a seventh-grader, McCauley has walked off the mat just once at the state championships without a win. It was his sophomore season. And people cheered when he lost in the 135-pound finals in Class AAA.

    "It kind of got to me, but people are going to cheer who they want to cheer for, and they're going to do what they want to do. I just took it and went on from there," McCauley said. "I don't see why they just can't respect us. We're going out there to do a sport we love to do. I wish they'd support us more often."

    It has gotten better lately. The booing has been tamped down.

    "We really haven't gotten that many boos this year," McCauley said. "I think people are respecting us, and they see that we're representing Minnesota now that we're the No. 1 team in the nation. We're not just representing Apple Valley. We're representing the state."

    The Eagles also represent what it takes to become a success.

    "I think more and more people have come to appreciate the level of wrestling," Buesgens said. "They see the dedication. It's more the casual fan who hears rumor and innuendo so they think they need to boo. I don't think it really bothers our kids. I think it fuels them a little bit more."

    If you wrestle at Apple Valley, you come to accept and expect the boos.

    "I guess you've got to take that as a compliment," said Jim Jackson, the Eagles' head coach. "If you were coaching a team that has won 18 national titles and they accuse you of recruiting, human nature is (people are) going to be jealous (of the success). I don't like when kids are booed, but you can't control it."

    You just keep on doing what you have been doing.
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

  2. #2

    Default Re: Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

    very similar down here in Louisiana. Jesuit High School has not placed less than 2nd in over 35 years and had 13 consecutive titles during that time. only beaten by 3 other schools in the state. all these other schools cheer when Jesuit doesn't get first but yet they don't realize that Jesuit makes it to the podium every year as a team. Jesuit is very hated by a lot of ppl here only b/c they are the best. year in and year out they have guys that step up to put their team up for title contention. I graduated with ppl that coach there and I know all the hard work and time that the wrestlers and coaches put into that program. When other teams can step up and take Jesuit off the podium than ppl can talk. So far only 3 teams have placed a head of them at state and those should be the only teams allowed to boo Jesuit. I very much understand what the AV kids go through getting boo'd and taking it personal, those kids should lash out publicly against those ppl to show what cruel and disheartened ppl they are. Me personally I would let my kid(s) raise up both hands and say "hi" especially after taking the title. I love haters, the more you got the more successful you are. I will plug Katt Williams (mods if it's inappropriate please lmk and I'll delete it or you can delete it).


  3. #3

    Default Re: Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

    I think its funny that the crowd boo's Apple Valley at all when they actually sent out their line up.... STMA sat their 103 and 112 in the team state finals... both of which had shots at beating the AV kid.
    Last edited by Schlottke; 03-04-2011 at 11:45 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

    I'm sure the boo's hurt the feelings of the AV program. If you're getting booed usually means your more than likely doing something good. Lame on the fans part.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

    I think they have gotten used to it in a way from the Minnesota crowds. I think when they compete at the bigger tournaments like The Clash and the Christmas Tournaments they get their respect at those locations. I have been to the state tournament in Minnesota before. When AV is wrestling for the championship they have a good sized contingent and then so does the other team usually in a corner of the arena. Then when something anti-AV happens the arena comes alive. The good thing is that the last two years the crowds get quiet QUICKLY when their teams go down 30-0. It was a dream team, I imagine the team race will get more competitive in the coming years as AV loses 10 seniors, though not all starters.
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

    It was crazy you couldn't hear anything especially at individual when keogh lost.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Apple Valley Wins 6th Consecutive State Title, 61-6

    This one's pretty simple and straightforward:

    Once AV gets out of the region, the other regions aren't nearly as strong. This has been the case for over 20 years. The top ranked teams are all in the same region as AV - Owatonna, Faribault, Albert Lea, Rosemount, etc. and for whatever reason - the winner of that region traditionallly walks through the state tournament.

    It's not the hatred of AV - it's the hatred of having to watch AV guys beat teams who are obviously inferior, while teams that could give them a real match were eliminated at regionals.

    If the AV guy wins against a guy with a 35% win record, even though he was beaten by "my" HS guy 3 times - that might just be enough for fans to illicit a boo.

    The state wide disparate concentration of wrestling talent is not taken into account in the state tournament - and many people believe that AV is the devil that keeps this crappy system working in order to pad their stats....

    Boo'ing is a legitimate option for these fans.
    Last edited by rstrong; 03-28-2011 at 01:05 AM.

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