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Perham to host state power Simley

Two of the top teams in the state of Minnesota will be squaring off on the mats at the Prairie Wind Middle School on Saturday, Jan. 13 for the first ever KLN Super Dual at 11:30 a.m.

The Yellowjackets will welcome the second-ranked team in Class AA to the gymnasium when they take on the Simley Spartans.

“This is a huge dual for the program, it’s big for the state seedings and it’s really cool for the sport,” Perham head coach Robb Moser said. “We are excited about that. Simley came and said they would like to wrestle us and we jumped over that opportunity. We thought it would be a good thing for our kids and thought it would be good for the sport. We believe that having a good dual is a good way to promote the sport. There is a cool atmosphere to it and when you know it’s two competitive teams, it brings some excitement that wouldn’t normally be there in a run of a the mill match.”

The Spartans are a perennial state wrestling power and have won 11 state championships and were the runner ups in 2017, falling to Kasson-Mantorville in the finals. The Yellowjackets advanced to state, finishing as consolation champions for the third state year.

The match between the two schools is one of the marquee matchups on the outstate schedule and has sparked interest from spectators across the board.

“This is a preeminent matchup in the state and something that is really hard to get to,” Moser said. “This is a big step for them to travel four hours for one match on a Saturday. I think it tells a lot about who they are and they are trying to seek out good competition. We are thrilled about the opportunity and thankful for KLN to help make it happen.”

This match will have individual state tournament implications. Both schools are Class AA powers and with the state tournament seeding this year, this could help for state seeding purposes.

Moser said the Yellowjackets jumped on the opportunity to take on Simley and made sure to lock it into the schedule.

“We were really excited and once we heard they were interested we thought it was almost too good to be true,” Moser said. “We think it could be neat. It’s kind of a great way to have one of your last duals in a gymnasium that we have been competing in for 20 years be the Simley dual. We hope it’s something the kids will remember for the rest of their life.”

Junior varsity action kicks the day off at 10 a.m., with the varsity match set to begin at 11:30 a.m. at the PWMS gymnasium.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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