Lakeview wrestling fans were forced to wait six weeks before seeing their squad perform again on the home mats.
It was well worth it.
The Vikings won all but one match, scored pins in seven of those victories and improve their season record to 13-2 with a dominant 71-3 dual win over Platteview on Thursday night.
Lakeview last wrestled in its home gym on Nov. 30 in the season-opening Viking Invite. All the hosts did in that one was set school records for team point total and number of finals matches.
The Vikings posted a 265-point total, had 10 wrestlers advance all the way to championship matches and won three of those while taking the team title by 42 points over the next closest squad, David City.
Just like the field was no match that night for Lakeview, Tuesday's opponent was equally in trouble.
Not only was it just the second time the Vikings had wrestled at home, but it was also the first and last home dual of the year, and in the career for a senior group of nine aiming for big accomplishments over the next month.
With all that considered, Platteview really never had a chance.
"When the schedule came out, that kind of stinks with only one home dual since we have a pretty good team," coach Jeff Bargen said. "It was great to get to wrestle at home again and honor this great senior class that has come through. We did it up right. We had a nice crowd tonight. It was fun. It was exciting."
Bargen and his group came into the night off a team championship at the Jack Murray Invite last weekend at Ashland-Greenwood, ranked No. 7 in Class B according to NEwrestle.com and fourth in the latest Class B Wildcard Points Standings - the metric used to determine state duals.
Only Blair, Hastings Adams Central and Wahoo had a higher wildcard points average.
At 13-2, Lakeview's only losses have come to Class A No. 3 Columbus and Sioux City Bishop Heelan - a school that wrestles in 2A, the second classification of competition in Iowa.
Platteview came in 3-6 without any ranked wrestlers.
The Trojans lone win came at 132 pounds where Elliott Steinhoff held off Logan Jaixen 8-6.
Jaixen, however, trailed 8-2 before a late reversal and back points with under 20 seconds to go in the match. He couldn't quite get another turn for a near fall but put on quite the show regardless.
Pablo Tellez stepped in at 106 for an ill Hayden Johnston and earned a first-period pin. Khyler Shortridge took the place of an also ill Lucas Thatcher at 145 and pinned his opponent as well, completing the win with eight seconds left in the second period.
It was the first varsity win for both, and two dominant victories in that.
"For those two to step in and win, that's really big," Bargen said. "Logan, that's a tough one. He kind of gave up points early, but the thing about Logan is, he fought hard in that third period and gave himself a chance to win."
Tellez started the night at 106 and was followed by Kevin Dominguez winning 9-5 at 113 with a takedown and two back points in the final minute of the third.
Up 9-0, Lucien Engel kept it going taking a 7-4 first-period lead before sticking his foe 28 seconds into the second.
Gage Perry made it 21-0 and ran his perfect record to 28-0 pinning a Trojan in 1:16.
"It's the last home dual for us seniors, and coach wanted to make it special, so we've worked really hard the past couple weeks. It showed tonight," Perry said.
As far as the perfect record, has he thought about it?
"No not at all," Perry said. "The next match is always the most important, and you keep going for that."
Jaixen followed Perry, Platteview made it 21-3 with the win, but Joel Lemburg, Shortridge, Boston Barcel, Zeth Gerkensmeyer, Brook Behlen, Jacob Frenzen, Austen Smith, Bradyn Kucera and Cody Thompson ran off nine straight wins for a Viking blowout.
"We have a great senior class. As the years have gone by, we've had our ups and downs, but they've really come together this year. The whole team has," Bargen said. "One thing we're always working on is being the best teammates we can.
"It was sentimental tonight. I saw those guys lined up there, and this is the last time those guys are going to wrestle here in front of our home crowd. They've done so much for our program building it up to what it is today."
Lemburg won 6-1 with two takedowns, Shortridge picked up a pin with eight seconds left in the second period after taking a 5-3 lead.
Barcel mostly toyed with his opponent, scoring takedown after takedown for a 20-5 technical fall in the second. Gerkensmeyer accepted a forfeit, as did Frenzen and Kucera.
Behlen scored a takedown right away then turned it into a pin with 20 seconds left in the first, Smith had the quickest pin of the night in just 27 seconds and Thompson hand fought with his foe for a while before a takedown and pin 52 seconds into the final match of the night.
"Ever since my freshmen year, when we started to realize what we had as a team, that is when coach Bargen and the coaches would say, 'You're the team,'" Perry said.
"If we're all on, I fell like we could do top three at state as a team."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.