Senior Eric Smorstad (No. 75) shared a moment with teammates James Ostlie and Jacob Kvale following the victory Thursday. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
Senior Eric Smorstad (No. 75) shared a moment with teammates James Ostlie and Jacob Kvale following the victory Thursday. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)

Finally.

Finally Decorah Head Coach Bill Post can enjoy the offseason and not wonder what might have been.

At last, Post watched the Class 3A state championship awards ceremony and breathed a big sigh of relief.

After five trips to the UNI-Dome for the title game, Post atoned for four second-place finishes and released years of frustration at finishing not quite good enough.

Thursday night was a big night for the Decorah football team and Post as the Vikings defeated Sioux City Bishop Heelan 49-21 in the championship game to finish the year undefeated at 14-0, the most wins in school history.

Post became just the second coach in school history to win a title. Dick Wuest won the previous four in 1974, '87, '88 and '89.

Decorah moves into a tie for fourth in the state with most state victories. With its fifth title, Decorah is now tied with Solon, West Des Moines Valley and Wapsie Valley. Harlan has the most titles with 12.

But this one will live on in Decorah history for years to come, especially for Post, who celebrated with tears of joy, leading the student section in a cheer and soaking in the hoopla that comes with bringing home the big trophy.

"It feels awesome. It really does. When I first started coaching I wanted to be an assistant and be a part of a football team. As the years went along and I experienced some of the things that go into it, the emotions, the good feelings and the bad feelings, it was something I've aspired to try to do here," said Post. "I finally have come to the conclusion of it. It's a great feeling and a great honor. I know I've been blessed in situations there, that it's not just me but a lot of good coaches and players pitching in - that just makes it a great feeling."

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