DeJong wins SICL crown

BELLE PLAINE – Tied 4-4 at the end of the first period of the SICL 106-pound championship Saturday, Feb. 1, North Mahaska freshman Paul DeJong, with the composure of a grizzled veteran, outscored Noah Strohmeyer of Colfax-Mingo 15-7 over the final two periods to win his first conference championship.  

“This proved that I can do it and that I can prove it to everybody,” DeJong said after the match. “This is huge for me and will help put him in a better position as we get ready for sectionals.”

As the number one seed in his bracket, this marked only the second match of the day for DeJong. In his first contest, he defeated Sawyer Callahan by pin. DeJong’s continued growth this first year of high school wrestling is something North Mahaska head coach Ryan Groom has been happy to see. 

“This win today reaffirmed Paul, that he is as good as he knows he is,” Groom said. “It’s not one of those things where it’s a week to week thing, he gets better and better every day. This is a big confidence booster that shows the things he is doing are paying off.”

Find the complete story in the Feb. 6 issue of The Sun. Subscribe by calling 1-800-558-1244 ext 122 or email Deb at or by clicking here.