SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Kyler Rieck, Spirit Lake Park

By Joshua Swafford for The Predicament

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Kyler Rieck, Spirit Lake Park

When did you start wrestling? Who got you started?

I started wrestling in 1st grade. My uncle Jason Krosch & Grandpa Stan Krosch introduced me to
the sport.

Did any of your family members wrestle before you?

My uncle Jason is the only family member that has wrestled before me. He placed 4th at the state tournament at 119lbs.

Did you catch on to wrestling quickly or was it a gradual process?

Wrestling was definitely a gradual process for me. It took a lot of years before I started winning matches.

Which club did you wrestle for growing up? Who were your coaches?

I wrestled at Legends of Gold growing up & throughout high school. Practice during the week and camps most of the summer. Terry Pack & Josh Nolan played a huge part in any success that I had. Both of these guys are inspirations to me. Legends of Gold is the best place to train in the Midwest. I had a great experience there.

What was your most memorable youth wrestling experience?

My most memorable moment in my youth wrestling would be finally winning AAU state as an 8th grader. It doesn’t mean much now but at that time it meant a lot to me and was a huge stepping stone. Had a crazy 10-9 match with Roland in the semis and beat Anthony Zach in the finals 4-0. In the Roland match I tore up some ligaments and ended up getting surgery later. Had to wrestle Zach with one arm.

Who were some of your wrestling heroes growing up?

My wrestling hero growing up was Kyle Dake. I loved watching him. He always brought it and just looked like a normal guy.

How did you finish at AAU/GSS State tournaments growing up?

In AAU state tournaments I placed 3rd in 6th grade, 2nd in 7th. And 1st in 8th.

How did you finish at state in high school?

As a freshman I got 4th at 138lbs. I did not place as a sophomore. I placed 2nd as a junior at 152lbs. I placed 1st as a senior at 152lbs.

Was there a certain point where you felt yourself making huge strides or jumping levels quickly?

I feel that I made a big jump from my sophomore year to my junior year. I battled the demons from not placing and made the finals. That was the largest jump that I think I made.

How much did it mean to you to make your parents as proud of you as they are?

I am thankful to have the parents that I do. They have always pushed me to be my best and have been there more me always. It feels good to make them proud, this year winning state made me so happy to look into the stands and see how happy they were.

Who were some of your toughest competitors in High School wrestling?

As a freshman my toughest competitor was Wyatt Thompson from COM, he handed it to me. That’s when I realized how it was different wrestling guys that were fully mature. My sophomore year it was Ryan leisure, he really crushed my dreams lol, after that match I couldn’t get it together. As a junior it was issac judge, he was tough to wrestle and really shut down my offense. This year my toughest opponent was Easton Graff, he’s really hard to score on and getting your offense going on.

Are you wrestling in college? What are your goals there?

I am headed to Minnesota state Mankato this fall. I have big aspirations and believe that I am in the right place to me a division 2 national champion. There is nothing that I’ve wanted more in my life. I am excited.

How would you describe your wrestling style?

My style I would say is being offensive on my feet, always moving on bottom, and always working for a fall on top. I really like to grind guys down on top. I don’t think I can compare my style to anyone as it is my own style.

Would you have changed anything in your HS career or did you leave it all out there?

I wish that in high school I would have slowed down to enjoy everything more. I was always thinking about next year and how I was going to do better, by the time I got to where I wanted to be, high school wrestling was over.

What other sports did you play in HS? How did you do?

I played football in high school, I was blessed to be coached by Josh Bolluyt and co. He is one of the biggest inspirations in my life and has taught me so much about life. We had a fun time in football.

What are some of your hobbies off the mat?

My favorite hobby is definitely hunting. I love the outdoors. I love bow hunting white tails, I also hunt turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, bears, and I am headed to Africa this summer.

What is your favorite hunting story?

My favorite hunting story is the first mature whitetailed buck that I shot with my bow. It was spot and stalk, I got so close to the buck that it ended up being a 3 yard shot. It was the most intense thing I have ever done. That definitely got me hooked on bow hunting mature white tailed bucks. Another time I was hunting with my buddy Bryce and we split up. It got dark and Bryce didn’t meet up with me where and when he said he would after we were done hunting for the day. I ended up searching for him until I found him laying passes out in a drainage. He was running along a creek and fell and hit his head on a piece of concrete. I had to carry him a mile back to the truck on my shoulder. I woke him up and he had no idea where he was or what was happening. It was pretty scary.

What is your favorite HS wrestling memory?

My favorite high school memory is winning state. That feeling is surreal and something I had been dreaming about my whole life. The feeling you get I indescribable. And to win it with my best friend Kory Van Oort next to me, that was the best part.

What is the best advice you ever received while in HS athletics?

My best advice I have received is from both Coach Lundgren and Coach Bolluyt. They say that you can always control your attitude and effort no matter what situation you are in. That is true in every aspect of life.

Do you have any advice for upcoming wrestlers?

My advice to the young guys would be to just enjoy every moment. Some of the workouts and stuff suck but one day you won’t be able to go back and do it again. Just enjoy every little thing.

Who were your most influential coaches?

My most influential coaches have been Lundgren, Bolluyt, and Pack.

How cool was it representing NW Iowa at such a high level the way you did?

It is always good to rep NW IA. We are underrated and have some really good wrestlers.

What are your college plans? Do you see yourself coaching someday?

My plans are to wrestle at Minnesota state Mankato. I see myself coaching one day.

How is the future at Spirit Lake looking? Pretty bright?

The future for Spirit Lake wrestling is bright. We have some talented under class men coming up. Lundgren will always be a successful coach. I am very proud to be amongst previous state champions at Spirit Lake. Those are all the guys I looked up to every day while I was training.