BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — After winning the 120 pound state championship as a freshman, Brandon Valley standout Isaac Klinkhammer has finished runner-up in each of the last two seasons. The Lynx senior will look to cap off his career with another individual state championship this weekend, while also hoping to lead his team to something they’ve never accomplished.
Isaac Klinkhammer became Brandon Valley’s all-time leader in wins earlier this season.
“The goal is obviously a state title at the end of the season, and it’s just one of those things that through years of wrestling, it will come if you put in the work and do the right things,” Senior Isaac Klinkhammer said.
But no win would mean more than a championship match victory on Saturday night.
“To cap it off with a win this year would be very, it would mean the work was paid off throughout the season. But yeah, no its not going to be easy. Every single one of those competitors in that bracket is good and everybody’s got a chance, and that’s why they wrestle it out,” Klinkhammer said.
Along with a second individual state championship, a team title has also evaded Klinkhammer during his five-year varsity career.
“This is something that a lot of these guys, we’ve been on the same team since we were little. Practicing in this room at five, six-years-old thinking about, hey, what if,” Klinkhammer said.
Brandon Valley missed out its first ever state championship a year ago, by just a single point.
“I mean, the million things that could have gone the other way that we would of won. But then you’re like, hey, there’s a reason why we got second. We need to put in a little extra work,” Klinkhammer said.
It’s why every match, and every point matters.
“You want to take care of yourself as an individual, but the team comes first. The unique thing is if you take care of yourself as an individual with your matches, that’s how you help out the team,” Brandon Valley Head Coach Derek Outland said.
“We need everybody that goes out there, puts their best effort on the line and you know, then we can win it. But, it takes everybody, all fourteen wrestlers,” Klinkhammer said.
The State Wrestling Tournament begins Thursday in Rapid City with the first round of the individual tournament followed by the quarterfinal and the semifinal rounds of the Team Dual competition.