South Tama's Erik Lux was crowned 2A state champion at 160 at the 2012 state tournament in Des Moines after pinning (5:31) Chase Shedenhelm of Denver-Tripoli in the finals. Lux became STC's eleventh state champion in wrestling.
The path to the finals was not easy for Lux. He had to go through the top- and second-ranked wrestlers in his weight class just to get there. But that experience plus meeting up with Shedenhelm, whom he beat three weeks earlier in the NICL tournament, made the finals a bit less stressful.
"I already knew I could beat him," said the Trojan junior. "I just wasn't nervous that much and just wrestled my match. It helped knowing what he does a little bit and knowing I could take him down."
Erik Lux's hand is raised after state championship victory at 160 lb.s
News-Herald/ Jeff Barker
Lux was in control of the match 7-1 when he put Shedenhelm on his back early in the third period. He ran out of time at the conference meet when he had Shedenhelm in a similar fix. Tonight he finished the job.
"It went fast. I was just hoping, Don't let him off his back no matter what!' "
If a state championship was not enough, the pin for the title also marked Lux's 100th career victory and gave him his 34th fall for the season, a new South Tama single-season record.
It was also the first set of brothers to win a state championship for South Tama since the Hand boys, Wes and Matt, in 1995-1996.
Earlier in the day Tyler Walz finished in 8th place at state. Walz had to injury default his final match and never wrestled. Although it was not the ending to the season the senior wanted, it was his fourth trip to state and his third medal, winding up an outstanding wrestling career (132-28) at South Tama.
As a team, the Trojans scored 27 points and finished in a 19th place tie with Independence.
For head coach Nate Van Dyke, it was his second state champion in as many years and also the second time with multiple state place winners.
"It's a great feeling, very exciting. I'm very proud of the boys," said Van Dyke.
But Saturday night belonged to Lux.
"He's seen it before," said Van Dyke. "He's just a competitor. He went on the mat and he was ready to go."
"He's got a lot of people on their backs throughout the tournament. He's gotten back points in almost all of his matches. He's a dangerous wrestler."
Erik's older brother, Kyle, was on hand to watch his little brother wrestle for the championship. There is an obvious amount of respect and admiration by both of them for each other.
"Awesome! I love it!" said Kyle about his little brother. "I always knew he could do it. Got to go out there and do it and he did it. Amazing for him, amazing for the family and amazing for South Tama."
Having a big brother pave the way was a good experience for the younger Lux. Now he wants to one-up his big brother and try for a second one next season. Kyle is in his little brother's corner all the way.
"He can do it. It would be an amazing accomplishment, I'll tell you what!"
Van Dyke knows what it takes to get there.
"There are so many wrestlers in the state of Iowa and only a very few get to taste the state experience," said Van Dyke. "Same goal for next year. We're going to relish this for a little bit, and then we're going to get back to training here in a few days."