The Vikings will depend on their three returning state golf members from 2012. Pictured are, from left - Peter Kephart, Michael Peter and Bryce Pierce. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The Vikings will depend on their three returning state golf members from 2012. Pictured are, from left - Peter Kephart, Michael Peter and Bryce Pierce. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The hunger is still there.

After coming up just short at the state tournament the year before, the Vikes took home the title trophy in 2012.

With three members of the team returning this year, the Vikes are ready to head back to state and defend their title.

Looking to pick up another trophy is Head Coach Rich Gaard, who has led the Vikings for 42 years.



Finally on top

In 2012, the Vikes returned all six of their state participants from the year before. Michael Peter, Peter Kephart, Sam Lewey, Maynard Newhouse, Nick Nelson and Bryce Pierce led the large Viking squad all season on the links.

Consistently ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, Decorah made it four in a row at the Northeast Iowa Conference meet, winning with 286 strokes. Nelson, senior, was the medalist, hitting a two under par of 68. Lewey, a senior, was the runner-up, carding a 69. Newhouse, Pierce and Kephart all finished in the top-10, with Tyler Hovey taking 18th.

With the focus on getting back to the state tournament, the Vikings took care of the business at the sectional meet, winning for the fourth straight time. Nelson was the medalist of the meet, firing a three over par. Lewey and Kephart also individually advanced by finishing in the top-four.

At the district meet, the Vikes took second behind Clear Lake, with both firing a 306. Nelson and Clear Lake's Luke Munson tied for the top honor with a two over par.

Everything came together in Ames at state. For the first time in 40 years, the Vikes took control, firing a 616 to win the two-day tournament by 34 strokes. The win was the fifth largest in the history of the state golf meet and most between Class 3A competitors.

Nelson finished runner-up overall at the meet with a score of 150, finishing three strokes out of first. Newhouse took fourth overall with a 151. Peter carved out a 157 to take ninth. Also competing were Lewey, 159, tied for 12th; Pierce, 159, tied for 12th; and Kephart, 163, tied for 18th.

Overall, Decorah finished with a 58-3 season record.

For the complete story and additional photos, pick up Decorah Newspapers at one of the many convenient locations throughout Decorah and Winneshiek County. Or, for 34 cents an issue, subscribe to Decorah Newspapers by calling (563) 382-4221.