Returning letter winners for the Vikings are, from left, front row - Carter Hubka, Kellan O’Shea, Dirk Clark, Devin Stortz, Joe Knoke. Back row - Jared Adam, Sean Trewin, Kennedy Folkedahl, Austin Ashbacher, Alec Fjelstul. Absent was Cody Ritner. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The lower weights should lead the way for the Decorah wrestling team this winter.
With 11 returning letter winners and two returning state qualifiers, the Vikings will be looking to their experienced grapplers to teach the new wrestlers the ropes.
In charge of the team is Jeff Freidhof. He's been at Decorah for 13 seasons and has 14 years coaching under his belt. He has a 129-107 career record. He will be assisted in the program by Gene Adams, Bruce Sacquitne, Ryan Kittelson Tyler Rinken and Mat Fassbinder, with junior high coaches Steve Nesteby, Todd Hove and Bob Holkesvik.
With a large squad, the Vikings of 2012-13 made the most of their experience. They posted an 18-5 dual record and finished fourth in the Northeast Iowa Conference in dual standings. At the conference meet, the Vikes finished fourth overall, with Tyler Hovey, Andy Hovden and Austin Ashbacher all winning their weight class.
For the first time since 1996, the Vikings won the sectional title, besting Crestwood by just four points. That moved Decorah into the regional team dual. Their bid for a state dual ticket was thwarted by Class 2A No. 1 West Delaware in the finals. They defeated Crestwood in the first round 37-36 before falling to West Delaware 19-55.
In the individual tournament, eight Vikings kept their seasons alive at the regional meet, with 12 of the 14 wrestlers finishing in the top four. Juniors Kellan O'Shea and Austin Ashbacher and seniors Andy Hovden and Hans Holkesvik all moved on to the state tournament.
Under the bright lights at state, Hovden finished fourth, Ashbacher sixth, Holkesvik seventh and O'Shea picked up one win.
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