MMA Prospects: Apple Valley Wins Half of All State Titles

Jacob SchlottkeContributor IIMarch 7, 2010

The No. 1 high school wrestling team in the nation proved its prowess this weekend at the Minnesota High School State Wrestling Tournament. 

Apple Valley (Minnesota) stands head and shoulders above nearly every other high school program, winning the team state title 54-12. At one point, they led 48-0 after top NCAA recruit, 152-pound Destin McCauley, dominated his opponent.

Apple Valley's head coach, Jim Jackson, has instilled a winning mentality while continuing to mold the athletes into successful young men on and off the mat. 

Apple Valley has become very streaky on their state title runs, the first of which started in 1999 on the shoulders of University of Iowa recruit Matt Shankey, and All-American heavyweight Chad Redmann. This streak ran through 2002 when Philadelphia Eagle (and Apple Valley Heavyweight) Trevor Laws was just a junior.

During their previous title runs, two or three state titles were expected, and more than that meant the squad was one of history's best.  That has changed.

The Eagles qualified 10 of 14 to the big school state finals, winning seven of those and setting a state record in the process.

The 18-time Minnesota Big School State Champions won the state tournament ten times between 1999 and 2010, with their only loss coming in 2005.


Top NCAA & Future MMA Prospects:

152-Pounder, Destin McCauley

Technically sound and aggressive, he is easily one of the top five grapplers in Apple Valley history.  A four-time State Champion with one year left in school. (Minnesota allows middle schoolers to compete at the high school level)


125-Pounder, Matt Kelliher

A master technician on top with the ability to find turns and open up his opponent.  Not only will this ability translate well into NCAA Wrestling, it'd make him one heck of a grappler.