By Jim Rueda
---- — It was obvious from his demeanor that Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial junior Louie Sanders was taking his second-straight state wrestling championship in stride.
Sanders didn't pin anybody in his Class A, 126-pound weight class at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, but he was in control of every match. He closed out the state tournament with an 11-6 decision over Patrick Ramirez of Triton in the finals.
"The first time you win is always hard," Sanders said of his two state titles. "This year I think I had improved as a wrestler so maybe it wasn't quite as difficult. I owe that to my coaches for preparing me all season."
Sanders ended the year with a 38-2 record and the No. 1-ranking in the state.
He was one of three multiple-state champions from the area in Class A. Another was 113-pound junior Austin Anderly from Le Sueur-Henderson.
Anderly won state as a 106-pounder last year and then came back to win it at 113 with a 7-5 victory over Jared Goldsmith of Chatfield in the finals. Unlike Sanders, he felt the second time around was more difficult.
"Everybody knows you after you win the first one," Anderly said. "There's more guys coming after you when you have that target on your back.
"But it feels good. (Goldsmith) was a strong wrestler, but I knew when I got that last takedown that I had him."
Anderly closed out the 2013-14 campaign with a 34-3 record and ranked No. 1.
Sibley East senior Nathan Rose did Sanders and Anderly one better on Saturday. He defeated Vince Johnson of Windom Area at 195 pounds to win his third consecutive state title.
Rose agreed with Anderly that its gets tougher as you go.
"The first one is always tough," Rose said. "But the second one is tougher and the third one is even tougher than that.
"There's a lot more pressure when your coming back to try to win it for the third time. I knew I just had to try to win my matches from my feet because I didn't feel like anybody could turn me."
When asked if he handles pressure well, Rose replied: "Sometimes."
The senior is headed to the University of Minnesota next season to begin wrestling for the Gophers. He's looking forward to the challenge of going up against opponents as good as or better than him every day in practice.
"It'll be a challenge," he said.
The No. 1-ranked Rose went 42-1 in his final high school season.
United South Central's Colton Carlson also had a shot at a Class A state title Saturday but came up one-point short at 182 pounds. Carlson took on top-ranked Niko Anderson in the championship bout and dropped a 4-3 decision.
The senior Carlson finished 38-4.
Scott West crowned two champions in Class AA. Senior Zach Siegle won the 138-pound weight class with a 6-2 decision over third-ranked James Berg of New Prague.
Siegle was not overpowering during the tournament — winning four regular decisions — but he was behind only once. The top-ranked senior ends the year with a 49-1 record.
The other Scott West champion was Andrew Fogarty at 160 pounds. Unlike his teammate, Fogarty was dominant during the tournament. He finished with two pins, a major decision and a regular decision.
The junior ended the tournament with an 11-0 major over Thomas Miller of Plainview-Elgin-Millville. Fogarty was ranked first and Miller was rated fourth.
Fogarty completes the season at 48-1.
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton senior Skylar Petry won a Class AA title at 120 pounds. The No.1-ranked Petry defeated fourth-ranked Ryan Epps of Cannon Falls 13-6 in the championship match.
"I knew I could win it from my feet," Petry said. "I was able to build up a lead with my takedowns."
Like Rose, Petry is headed to the Gophers next season to continue his wrestling career. He ends the year with a perfect 42-0 record.
The only other area champion in Class AA was Josh Selly of Tri-City United. The third-ranked Selly took on second-ranked Derek Dahlke of Scott West in the finals at 170 pounds and came away with a 7-5 victory.
Selly finishes with a 40-2 record. Dahlke closes out at 40-8.