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Detroit Lakes gets its first state wrestling champion

Isaiah Thompson of Detroit Lakes wins the Class-2A 170-pound individual championship match of the Minnesota Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in St. Paul. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

ST. PAUL -- Detroit Lakes (Minn.) has its first state wrestling champion. It’s something the program has been waiting for since its began in the 1960s.

After sophomore Isaiah Thompson’s hand was raised as the Minnesota Class 2A champ at 170 pounds Saturday, Lakers coach Rob Ullyot hugged him, as the Laker fans at Xcel Energy Center stood. Ullyot told him he loved him and asked him how it felt to be the first state champion for Detroit Lakes High School.

Thompson isn’t a big talker.

“He said, ‘Well, it feels good, coach,’” Ullyot said with a laugh. “There wasn’t a lot of excitement there. He’s such a humble, young man. He works extremely hard. I’m just so excited and happy for him.”

Thompson doesn’t show much emotion, but he showed plenty when asked how many times Detroit Lakes wrestlers are reminded of never having a state champion.

“It’s just so much,” Thompson said.

Thanks to his 7-5 decision over Foley’s Justin Henry there will be no more talk of Detroit Lakes not having a champion.

“It feels great. It feels so awesome,” Thompson said. “It just feels awesome and it’s an honor to be the first champion from DL.”

Thompson had never been to the state tournament and was in and out of the varsity roster last season.

“Kept on grinding away in the wrestling room and using those tips that coach tells us and just keep on grinding and grinding away,” Thompson said.

Ullyot has been coaching at DL for 26 years. He’s not sure exactly what the plans are, but there will finally be a display in the wrestling room at Detroit Lakes for Thompson.

“Haven’t quite picked out the spot or how we’ll do it, but we’ll have a nice remembrance of that for this moment and for Isaiah,” Ullyot said.

Considering Thompson is only a sophomore it may not be the only display in the wrestling room before he graduates.

“We’ll just have to see what comes next,” Thompson said. “I could (win another).”

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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