Owatonna Wrestlers Keep Focus on Quest for State
Owatonna's wrestlers have a target on them. They are the No. 2 ranked team in Class AAA in the state and are the top seed for the Section 1AAA tournament beginning on Valentine's Day. Huskies' coach Adam Woitalla says "focus" and "consistency" are two reasons for the team's success this season.
OHS is 22-3 overall and finished off a 10-0 Big Nine championship season, their third straight league championship and 25th overall. "It's been a season-long accomplishment. The kids staying focused, taking every conference opponent seriously. It's paid off with another conference title," said Woitalla on Saturday's KRFO Coaches Show.
The Huskies wrestle Thursday at 7 pm against either Rochester John Marshall or Century who square off at 6 pm in the OHS gym beforehand. Owatonna beat each of those teams by wide margins during the season.
Semifinals are Saturday, February 16 at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester at 11 am. With a win Thursday, the Huskies would face either No. 4 seed Farmington or No. 5 Mayo. No. 2 seed Northfield (No. 12AAA) and No. 3 seed Albert Lea (Lean and Mean honorable mention in the rankings) are likely to meet in the other semifinal. Albert Lea faces Faribault on Thursday. Northfield awaits the winner between Winona and Austin.
The section final is 1 pm Saturday. Albert Lea beat Owatonna in last year's section final after the Huskies had beaten the Tigers during the regular season.
"You've got to keep motivated and you can't take things lightly. It's a long season where a lot can happen," Woitalla added.
In the latest rankings from The Guillotine, Owatonna has four top-ten individuals with Blake West (No. 1 at 106 pounds), Landen Johnson (No. 6 at 138), Kaden Nelson (No. 6 at 145) and Cade King (No. 2 at 182).
In Section 2A, Westfield wrestles WEM/JWP at 6 pm Thursday, February 14 at Blue Earth with the winner challenging No. 2 seed BEA at about 7 pm. No. 5 seed NRHEG is at No. 4 Medford in quarterfinal match. The section semifinals and championship are at LeSueur-Henderson High School Saturday at 2 pm and 4 pm.