North Tama’s Knaack ends with a flourish to score fifth place

North Tama sophomore Kolt Knaack, top, tries to turn John Helton of Council Bluffs St. Albert during their 138-pound match during Class 1A action last Friday morning at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Knaack won the match by decision, 7-0. PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

Only a few wrestlers every season get to say they ended their season with a win. North Tama sophomore Kolt Knaack made sure he was one of those few early Saturday afternoon with a 34-second pin of Myles McMahon of Don Bosco at 138 pounds in Class 1A, locking up fifth place with a commanding performance.

He bumped his season record to 42-4 and ended his season with a win that left him over the moon.

“It feels great, especially after going 0-2 last year,” Knaack said. “It feels great to finally step on the podium.

“I’ve wanted to wrestle him all year, and to finally wrestle him and to win how I did feels great. I was just going and the whistle blew and I didn’t know what to do, really.”

Knaack’s consolation semifinal at 138 pounds, the No. 8 seed went up against Alburnett senior and No. 6 seed Neighbor for a spot in the third-place match.

It wasn’t his best match of the tournament, and Neighbor was able to ride out a 6-2 decision to send Knaack to the fifth-place match against the No. 4 seed Myles McMahon of Don Bosco.

Saturday was a big test for the young sophomore with two matches against experienced opponents, and after his loss to Neighbor he wanted to end the state tournament on a high note.

He did just that in the fifth-place match and made a statement while doing so, pinning McMahon in just 34 seconds to take fifth and finish the state tournament 4-2 on the week.

“It’s going to bring a lot of confidence,” Knaack said.

North Tama head coach Andrew Knaack said that there’s still plenty left for Kolt to accomplish at state and more he wants to do — but the progress he made from his freshman year to his success as a sophomore is a step in the right direction.

Andrew said Kolt has a focused goal in mind, and he’s got two more years to reach it.

“He’s excited, obviously,” Andrew said. “You beat up some good kids, some returning placewinners.

“Next year you gotta want to be wrestling on Saturday night, and that’s his ultimate goal starting, well, Sunday.”

Following the tournament, three more names will be added to the Kathi Knaack Memorial Redhawks State Wrestling board in the North Tama wrestling room including Kathi’s grandson Knaack – now a two-time state qualifier – and his teammates Case Monat, also a two-time state qualifier, and first-time qualifier Gavin Rausch.