Tyler Julson: This weekend is all about the state wrestling tournament

Published 6:59 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Notes from the Sports Desk by Tyler Julson


My favorite working weekend is upon us once again — state wrestling weekend. Last year, I was able to cover seven different wrestlers on their journeys through the tournament. This season, the number gets bumped up with 10 area athletes qualifying for the tournament.

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Albert Lea qualified seniors Nic Cantu, Brady Nielsen and Zach Glazier; sophomores Caleb Talamantes and Griffin Studier; and eighth-grader Cole Glazier. United South Central qualified senior Blake Legred and sophomore Bryce Sonnek; and NRHEG qualified seniors Tyler Jacobson and Quinten Arndt. Zach Glazier, Legred and Jacobson are all returning qualifiers, with Glazier and Legred returning as former state champions.

Two straight days packed with nothing but wrestling and its passionate fans — it’s going to be a great time.

Another handful of area teams had their seasons come to an end recently. The Albert Lea boys’ hockey team fell in the Section 1A semifinals Tuesday night to Minnesota River. The Bulldogs’ team came out hot, scoring three goals in the first period, and the Tigers just couldn’t keep up with the fast-paced offense. The loss marks the second straight season where the Tigers lost in the section semifinals.

The Glenville-Emmons boys’ basketball team and the NRHEG and United South Central girls’ basketball teams also lost their opening round section games Tuesday night.

The only teams that might still be going after this weekend are the boys’ basketball teams from Albert Lea, Alden-Conger, NRHEG and United South Central. Once those teams are done, it becomes a long wait for all of this snow to melt so we can get started with the spring sports.

Another one of my favorite sports traditions is coming up: the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I always enjoy filling out as many brackets with complete randomness as I can. A few years back, I filled out a bracket using only coin flips and ended the tournament in the top 99 percentile on ESPN.

As of this week, ESPN’s resident bracket expert has the Gophers as one of his first four teams out. They could definitely find their way in by winning their last three regular season games and a good run in the Big Ten Tournament.   

The Cyclones, on the other hand, have shored up their spot in the postseason tournament, and maybe it’s just my Iowa roots talking, but I think they could make a nice run with the pieces they have.

Tyler Julson is the Tribune sports reporter. Contact him at tyler.julson@albertleatribune.com.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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