Victims of western Wisconsin crash identified as standout wrestlers

Five of their teammates qualified for the state tournament on Saturday.
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Kegan Koshiol and McKinley Erickson

Kegan Koshiol (left), McKinley Erickson (right)

The western Wisconsin community of St. Croix Falls is mourning the loss of two students who were killed in a car accident Friday morning. 

McKinley Erickson and Kegan Koshiol were traveling together in an SUV northbound on 220th Street – about a half-mile south of Hwy. 8 near St. Croix Falls – when they crashed, rolled and came to a rest after colliding with several trees, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. 

The sheriff's office determined that "icy roadway conditions are likely a factor in this accident."

According to WCCO, Erickson and Koshiol were on their way to lift weights with their St. Croix Falls High School wrestling teammates before school when they crashed around 7:40 a.m. 

One day after the tragic accident, St. Croix Falls wrestlers honored their fallen teammates by competing in the sectionals on Saturday. Five of the eight who competed qualified for the Wisconsin state tournament. 

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"8 wrestlers competed at sectionals today and put it on the line. 5 wrestlers advance to the WIAA Individual High School Tournament," said the St. Croix Falls Wrestling Booster Club on Facebook. 

Advancing to the state tournament: 

  • Luke Thaemert, 106 lbs
  • Mason Will, 120 lbs
  • Kole Marko, 145 lbs
  • Bennett Bergmann, 152 lbs
  • Tanner Gaffey, 285 lbs

Erickson, a junior, was also a standout running back and linebacker in football, as evidenced by his highlight tapes

Koshiol, a freshman, was commended by wrestling coach Joe Raygor for his "level of fight" after St. Croix Falls placed second in a 27-team tournament in Eau Claire. 

The annual Wisconsin individual Wrestling Championship Tournament is next Thursday-Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison.

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