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Wrestling: Irish knocked out of team section

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All season long, Rosemount wrestling coach Brett Larson has dealt with the reality of his team's situation this year.

Larson wasn't interested in making excuses and didn't want to sugar coat the results.

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Rosemount knew it was shorthanded this year, having to forfeit two weight classes in several meets. Larson was usually pleased with the wrestlers that were able to hit the mat in competition.

The Irish entered last week's Class 3A, Section 3 team tournament ready to face reality again.

"It was hard for pretty much any team in the section to get excited this year," Larson said. "The outcome is basically determined. It's different in wrestling. If you wrestle this tournament 100 times, you're going to see the same result 100 times. Other sports like football you have turnovers and sloppy fields that can change things. Wrestling doesn't have all of those variables."

Without many major upsets taking place, Rosemount and its coach knew it would have a tough time matched up against third-seed Henry Sibley. Again shorthanded, the Irish lost 60-12.

Top seed -- and perennial favorite -- Apple Valley won the team competition. In each of the team duals, the higher seeded team won. Henry Sibley lost to No. 2 seed Hastings in the semifinals.

"Henry Sibley was the third best team," Larson said. "There is no shame in that. We have some pretty good wrestlers. They just have better ones. They have some really high-end wrestlers and we didn't match up well with them."

Wrestling without Steve Levine, who is out for the year, and Garrett Bothun, the Irish got their first win from Adam Jackson at 140 pounds. Josh Francois won at 160 pounds.

Tyler Sandoz earned a pin at 189 pounds.

Bothun is expected to return for this week's section individual tournament, taking place today and tomorrow at Rosemount High School.

Bothun, Sandoz, Francois, Jackson, Tony Marthaler and Paul Domeier should all receive higher seeds. A good week of wrestling could end in a trip to St. Paul for the state tournament.

"Realistically, we'd like to get at least two or three to the state tournament," Larson said. "That would be great. Where that comes from is anyone's guess. It's where we've been the last few years. In a different section we might have five or six getting to the state tournament. They're good enough. We've got a tough section and we have to wrestle well."

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