Apple Valley High School stayed in-house to fill the head wrestling coach position, promoting longtime assistant coach Josh Barlage.
Barlage, a special education teacher at AVHS, has been part of the Eagles’ program for 10 years. He succeeds Dalen Wasmund, who stepped down this spring after five seasons as head coach.
It’s no surprise that Apple Valley hired from within. Barlage is the fourth head wrestling coach in AVHS history, and every coach that succeeded program founder Bill Demaray was an Eagles assistant.
Barlage was an assistant coach in Lakeville before coming to Apple Valley. The Eagles have won state team championships every year Barlage has been on the coaching staff; they have won 12 in a row and 25 overall. Barlage was state Class 3A Assistant Coach of the Year in 2016-17.
He wrestled in two Minnesota high school state tournaments and was a member of three NCAA Division III championship teams at Augsburg College.
Wasmund coached wrestling in District 196 for 35 years, 25 at Apple Valley and 10 at Eagan. When he stepped down as Apple Valley head coach he left open the possibility of remaining with the program in another role. Barlage said Tuesday he would like Wasmund to remain involved but had not yet discussed that with him.
State clay target tourney
The Minnesota State High School League’s final state tournament for the 2016-17 school year, the state clay target tournament, is Saturday at Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. Team competition begins at 9 a.m. with individual competition at 2 p.m.
Among teams that have qualified for the state tournament is Apple Valley, which recently won the Class 4A championship at the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League tournament in Alexandria. Thirty-one teams will compete in Saturday’s MSHSL state tournament. Also advancing are the top 100 individual shooters, based on season-long scoring averages.
Apple Valley has seven shooters in the individual competition, including Kory Miller, the Class 4A Varsity Top Gun at the clay target league state tourney. The Eagles’ Bryant Mickelson is in the top five and Eastview’s Logan LeClair, a state medalist in 2016, is in the top 12.
The Minnesota High School All-Star Baseball Series, a six-team, two-day event featuring many of the state’s best seniors, will be Friday and Saturday at Chaska Athletic Park.
The Metro South all-stars have a heavy South Suburban Conference influence with 10 players and two coaches from the league. Metro South players include Lakeville North pitchers Ross Bastyr and Luke DeGrammont, Burnsville catcher Ryan Brunner and pitcher/outfielder Max Hanson, Rosemount catcher Ethan Engdahl and pitcher/infielder Griffin Lanoue, and Eagan outfielder Jack Galles and pitcher/infielder Jack Husemann. Lakeville North head coach Tony Market and Burnsville assistant coach Eric Reuss will coach the Metro South team.
Metro South will play Metro East at 12:30 p.m. Friday and the South all-stars at 9 a.m. Saturday. The team will play a third game later Saturday, with the time depending on its seeding after round-robin play ends. The championship game between the No. 1 seeds from each of two three-team pools is 7 p.m. Saturday.