Captains for Decorah this season are, from left, kneeling - Bryce Pierce, Cole Svestka. Back row - Holt Johansen, Austin Ashbacher. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The Decorah football team is looking to retain its throne and again capture the Class 3A crown this fall.
A year removed from its fifth ever state title and second time in two years playing for a trophy, the Vikings are ready to continue to build their dynasty.
This year will feature new faces in nearly every position as the Vikes have just two returning full-time starters and two returning part-time regulars. However, if someone can put together another winning squad, it's Head Coach Bill Post.
Post, who last season won his first state title as a head coach after advancing to the championship game four previous times, and became just the second leader in school history to bring home a title, has been with the Vikings for 41 years, 20 as the head coach. He has a 154-53 career record. He will be assisted this season by Joel Rollinger, Pat Trewin, Jeff Freidhof, Jesse Halweg, Steve Nesteby, Scott Pierce and Adam Riley.
A year to remember
Everything came up roses for the Vikings of 2012.
Decorah, which started the season ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by the Des Moines Register, went through the regular season without ever being seriously challenged. It picked up two quick non-district wins, taking down Waverly-Shell Rock 35-7 in week one and surprising No. 5 Marion 35-0 in Marion.
In the first week of district action, the Vikings easily breezed past Independence 47-0. After knocking out Charles City 51-14 in non-district action, the Vikes rattled off five district wins, defeating West Delaware 37-13, Vinton-Shellsburg 50-7, Crestwood 35-15, Oelwein 63-0 and Epworth, Western Dubuque 37-14.
Moving into the postseason, the Vikes disbanded Maquoketa 35-0 in the first round. Hosting Solon, the Vikes fell behind for the first time before rattling off 35 straight points to win 35-10. From there, DeWitt came to town hoping to end the Vikes' season. DeWitt made a game of it, coming back from 21-points down to make it a one-touchdown game. However, the experienced Vikes held strong, winning 21-14 to head back to the dome.
In what looked on paper to be the toughest game of the season, the Vikings more than proved they deserved to be back in the title game, defeating No. 3 Williamsburg 48-7 in the semifinals, setting up a rematch against Sioux City Bishop Heelan, the team that ended Decorah's title dreams in 2008. The frustration of finishing second the year before turned into pure joy for Post and the Vikes as they defeated Bishop Heelan 49-21 to bring home the big trophy.
In the end, the Vikings finished a perfect 14-0 on the year, the first time in school history.
The sophomores posted a 7-1 season record while the freshmen went 4-4.
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.