SERGEANT BLUFF | A season boils down to six minutes and so can a career.
That is what Sergeant Bluff-Luton senior Alex Freiberg faced as he needed a win in his true-second match at the section tournament Saturday to extend his final season and try to check off a few more career goals before the book closes for good.
“I was just thinking of my goals and prayed a little bit,” said the Warrior 160-pounder. “After that it was my goals and how much work I have put in since my freshman year. My freshman year I kind of realized wrestling was my shot to be really good at something and so that is what I went for. I put everything I had into the four years I had in high school.
“So going into that match all I was thinking of was everything I had done up to this point and everything I have done past other people.”
Freiberg had to gather himself after a 5-3 semifinal loss to Bishop Heelan’s Luke Martin where he just missed near fall points that could have forced overtime. The senior showed his toughness by using a late escape to break a 3-3 tie and add a takedown for the 6-3 win over fellow senior Jesse Jara of Sioux Center to take second place advance to the district tournament.
“I have always kind of been a bounce-back kid,” Freiberg said. “If I lose the match before I use it as motivation for the next match, and I did that in this one too. It was a little bit heartbreaking losing (the Martin) match because I thought I could win it and I trained for it all week, but we will get them again at districts.”
He is one successful weekend from finally making his way to the state tournament as an individual.
“It means a lot to me, I pray about it a lot, it is really all I think about,” Freiberg said. “I can’t tell you the number of times I haven’t been able to focus in school because it is all I think about. Just getting one more shot to do what I love to do because I am not going to do it in college would be awesome.”
“Alex has long been known as the kid who keeps his nose to the grindstone, makes good decisions and doing what is right, and that is not only athletically, that is academically, that is personally, that is everything,” SB-L Coach Clint Koedam said. “It was nice for him to have the opportunity to see all the decisions one makes in life actually pan out in competition.”
Freiberg is no stranger to close calls in meaningful matches.
“My goal last year was to make the state tournament and I fell short,” he said. “I lost to (MOC-Floyd Valley’s) Matt Dahl in the last second and I was winning with like six seconds left. My goal now is to be at the state tournament and hopefully up on the wall with the rest of the state placers.”
Maturity on the mat has been a key for Freiberg to succeed as he has grown in the SB-L program, and it was something he struggled with early in his career.
“My freshman and sophomore year I really struggled with that because if I got scored on early it was really hard for me to keep my composure,” he said. “I have worked on that a lot. Use my anger to fuel myself on the mat, I don’t need to get in a fist fight and do something stupid.”
Now Freiberg and the Warriors get a chance to not only reach individual state, but the team is in search of its third straight trip to the dual team state tournament when it hosts a regional dual Tuesday.
The first opponent, fittingly, is Heelan who knocked off SB-L in a dual earlier this season and won the section title over the Warriors on Saturday. SB-L returned the favor to claim the MRAC tournament title.
“At the beginning of the year if people would have asked me if we were going to state duals I would have said it was not going to happen, but now I think we have a legitimate shot,” Freiberg said. “We wrestled alright (at sectionals), but if we wrestle regional duals like we did at the conference tournament there is almost no doubt we will be (at state).”