Three of four Decorah Viking District wrestling qualifiers advance to State

Posted: Sun, Feb 11, 2018 7:46 PM
(Left to right): Decorah Viking wrestlers Jackson Rolfs, Kyzer Engen, Philip Ihde and Andy Lillegraven (Photo courtesy of Jeff Freidhof)

Three members of the Decorah Viking wrestling team have qualified for Thursday's State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines.

Kyzer Engen at 113 pounds, Philip Ihde at 132 pounds and Andy Lillegraven at 195 all did well at the District Meet at Independence on Saturday, while Jackson Rolfs at 132 pounds just missed qualifying.

Engen opened with an 11-0 major decision victory over Peyton Hellman from Union/La Porte City, then won first place by taking a 5-2 decision against Evan Woods of Manchester West Delaware.

Ihde remained undefeated on the season by taking a 7-0 decision in a match against Carter Weeks from Vinton-Shellsburg, then won by fall against Lake LeBahn of Union/La Porte City at 5:57 of the championship match.

Lillegraven won by fall against Tayten Freidhof of Independence, then lost by fall in 1:09 to Harrison Goebel of Manchester West Delaware in the championship match, but still qualified for State.

Rolfs lost a 3-2 decision to Luke Radeke of Vinton Shellsburg in his opening match, but came back to win a 12-2 major decision in a second round match.  That gave him a chance to qualify for State in a wrestle back against Gunner Rodgers of North Fayette Valley, but he lost a 9-0 major decision.

Said head coach Jeff Freidhof, "All four of our wrestlers competed at a high level, which was evident by the fact that everyone of them scored bonus points during the day, which says a lot, considering it was the district tournament.  We felt very proud that our wrestlers stayed calm and composed, had fun scoring points and continued on offensive attacks at all times through out the matches."

Added Freidhof, "Even though Jackson Rolfs was not able to qualify with the other three, he put together a great freshman campaign and will come back even stronger next year.  We feel that Engen, Ihde and Lillegraven that have earned the right to wrestle in Des Moines--all are capable of earning medals and representing themselves and their school very well. We have good placements in the brackets and look forward to a great state tournament!"