DECORAH – No offense to all the wonderfully talented boys and girls who are participating in the 65th Iowa All-State Festival Concert tonight, but James Ostlie isn’t going to miss you.
The Decorah junior successfully auditioned recently as a bass singer in the choir portion of the prestigious music event at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. Liken the honor to being named an all-stater in Ostlie’s other main endeavor in the fall: football.
Football that has won out over music for Decorah’s Renaissance Man. The Vikings (11-2) play LaPorte City Union (11-2) this afternoon at 4:05 in the UNI-Dome for the Class 3A state title.
“I’m not disappointed in the least,” Ostlie said, with a wide braces-filled smile.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior has excelled as a two-way starter for Decorah, an offensive tackle and linebacker. Despite missing one game because of a knee injury, he is second on the Vikings in tackles.
“James has been doing an excellent job for us on both sides of the ball,” said Decorah Coach Bill Post. ”About two-thirds of the way into the year, his knee really started bothering him, and we didn’t know if he was even going to play. He sat out one game, against Waverly, and I think that really got under his skin. He has really come along great since then.”
Now back to Ostlie’s other love.
He was one of the leads in Decorah High School’s version of the musical “Annie” last week, playing the character Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. All of the reviews of his performance were positive.
“I’ve always done it, always kind of had a passion for music,” Ostlie said. ”It was really challenging through the middle of football season because I couldn’t really yell during football games. I had to kind of save my voice. But now that that’s done … my voice is pretty tired already, as you can hear. I’m just loving it.”
And he hopes to continue loving it. He’s got another year before he’s got to think seriously about college, but it sure sounds like he’s got his mind already made up.
He’ll stay home and attend Luther College, continuing his football and musical careers.
“One of the guys on our team (Michael Peter), both of his parents are the directors of music at Luther,” Ostlie said. “I just love them to death. I don’t know, I’m hoping music is in my future, for sure.
“As well as football, of course.”