Kegan Koshiol and McKinley EricksonTwo St. Croix Falls High School wrestlers were killed on their way to work out with their teammates before school Friday.
Kegan Koshiol and McKinley Erickson died when their SUV hit a patch of ice, ran off the road, flipped over, and struck a series of trees in St. Croix Falls on the western Wisconsin border with Minnesota, northeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Koshiol and Erickson were slated to travel with the rest of their team to state sectionals at Edgar, Wis. just west of Wausau.
The tragic news was shared on the Facebook page of the St. Croix Falls Wrestling Booster Club.
Erickson was a junior, and a standout athlete in football, wrestling and track, according to WCCO-TV. The CBS affiliate in the Twin Cities described Koshiol as "a well-loved freshman, and a strong wrestler. His friends say he had interest in one day serving in the military as a pilot."
St. Croix Falls wrestling coach Joe Raygor says the wrestling team decided to honor Erickson and Koshiol by competing at the sectionals in Wausau.
"We kind of left it up to the kids to come today," Raygor said. "We had two opt out because they couldn't overcome the grief, but we had eight kids come down today. We talked about that sometimes it's not the easy choice, but you have to do what's really hard. We left it up to the kids, we told them we loved them, they came down here, they're ready to fight, and they're wrestling hard. We had both families reach out and tell us they wanted the boys to wrestle hard and they're supportive from home. You know, that's pretty powerful. The big thing that we preach is family. This is a horrible thing, but it reminds us of the family piece."
Upon arriving in Edgar, the team was greeted with condolences from schools around the state of Wisconsin, WSAU-TV of Wausau reported. Both coaches and wrestlers used the tournament as an opportunity to honor their teammates and come closer together.
Four of the wrestlers from St. Croix Falls made it to the finals of the sectional tournament which gives them an automatic bid to the state tournament which starts Thursday at Kohl Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
Memorial services were recently announced.