The concept of Owatonna facing Albert Lea in the section wrestling tournament is nothing new, but to meet in the first round might be a first-of-its-kind happening. The Tigers are down a bit from their usual elite self and fell to the sixth seed for the Section 1AAA tournament starting Thursday, February 13. The Huskies are seeded third, which might be a little low.

Big Nine champ Northfield got the top seed with Farmington second. The Huskies are behind the Tigers despite being ahead of them in the latest poll. OHS coach Adam Woitalla, "We've got to go out there and prove it. Prove that we're better than the three seed. We kind of knew that our path was going to have to go through Farmington and Northfield."

The Huskies lost to the Raiders 42-31 on December 12 and did not wrestle the Tigers. OHS started the season unranked and has risen to No. 6 in the AAA poll. Northfield in fifth and Farmington ninth.

Owatonna may have beaten Albert Lea 59-21 January 9, but Woitalla won't let his wrestlers take anything for granted, "Whether they're having a good year or a down year, they always come ready to compete. That's something their coaches do a great job doing of convincing their kids they can win no matter what the situation is. We expect them to come in here and fully expect to beat us...You can't look to Saturday until you win on Thursday."

Woitalla added, "The past few meets we've really come together as a team and scored a lot of bonus points and had some big wins. We talk everyday at practice about wrestling for each other."

Thursday's match begins at 6 pm with coverage on AM 1390 KRFO and the KRFO app. The rest of opening night in Section 1AAA includes (8th seed) Austin vs (9th seed) Century at (top seed) Northfield, (5th seed Mayo at (4th seed) Faribault, and (7th seed) Winona vs (10th seed) John Marshall at (2nd seed) Farmington.

The semifinals are Saturday at 1 pm at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester with the championship match at 3 pm.



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