I wrote my second “Inside the Rivalry” story on the oldest Reiter brother, Joe Reiter vs. Nick Lee from Columbus Jct. There was a response that Joe gave to one of the questions that as the oldest of 4 brothers myself (and the Reiter bros have a sister, to boot), it tugged at my heart strings, bad. I am a pretty sentimental guy and I may have cried, honestly. He wrote that his most difficult wrestling memory was when his brother Eddie lost his semifinal match at state as a Senior which made it official…he would be the only one of the Reiter brothers to not win a state championship. Joe won 1. Mack and Bart both won 4. This got to me for a few reasons, but I think the kicker was because that was absolute proof as to how tight-knit and close those siblings are to each other and selfless when it involves family. Joe experienced quite a few adverse moments in his own wrestling career, but a moment with one of his brothers was what stuck out as the most hurt he/they had been after a wrestling moment. And I am assuming Eddie’s other brothers, Mack and Bart would respond with the same thing to that same question. My brother, Justin and I were members of the same freestyle club as the Reiter brothers. It was called “Future Hawkeye,” and it was run by Mark Reiland. Eddie always caught my eye because for one, he was a Reiter brother, but he didn’t have that Reiter “look,” to him. His brothers; Joe, Mack and Eddie all had the same “look” to them in which each of them had black hair and they weren’t exactly short for their weights, but they weren’t tall. They were stocky and barrel-chested. And here was this brother, Eddie who was shaped nothing like them and with an exception of a few facial similarities and looked nothing like them either. He was tall, skinny and had brown hair. He reminds me of how my brother Shea is compared to the rest of the other Swafford brothers. The tall, skinny, blonde Shea is a Senior at Graceland University and like Eddie, is the 3rd brother of the family. Anyways, I watched Eddie at these practices. He was very, very good. So much talent there. So much potential. You just didn’t look at him and immediately think, “oh there’s a Reiter” like you did when you saw Bart. What really stuck out, though and has to this day is how supportive those brother were of each other. They clowned around with each other and it was definitely detectable, the competitive nature they would probably all have against each other if they were playing something like Mario Kart against each other, but they all goofed around and helped the other when in need. The love those Reiter brothers all had for each other was obvious to anyone who didn’t know them or had just met them. I would say the love that family has for each other is the primary characteristic of the Don Bosco Reiter brothers’ identity, even before being wrestlers. It is really cool to see and something my family can personally relate to. 4 brothers and each of them placed in every state tournament they participated in… that is incredible. Eddie always had to perform under an immense amount of pressure to live up to his brothers and I don’t think there was ever a match where I wasn’t personally rooting for him.
Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
I would say my Dad, definitely was the one that encouraged me to wrestle. Although when you have two older brothers that were doing as well at the sport as mine were, your not, not going to give the sport a try.
Do you have any family that wrestled or wrestles currently?
My Dad and uncles wrestled for Union/La Porte City. My three brothers wrestled with me at Don Bosco. I have a niece, Scarlett, and a nephew, Lou who currently wrestle for the Bosco kids club. I also have a long list of cousins that wrestled around the same time I was.
What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
I didn’t have a lot of success as a youth wrestler. I placed 6th at Tulsa Nationals and 2nd at AAU State my 8th grade year. I was 0 and about 20 against Brett Rosedale as a youth wrestler. I think you need to win once or twice before it can really be considered a rivalry, but that’s the closest thing to a rivalry I can remember.
What was your record in HS?
I don’t know for sure but something like 130-20
How did you place at state every year?
5th 7th 5th 3rd
What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
I wouldn’t say I faced a ton of adversity. I had the best coaching and role models an athlete could ask for. I suppose I had three brothers that were much more successful than I was so there may have been a little added pressure there. I did get very nervous before big matches and had a tendency to fold when the lights were brightest, but I still loved that anxious feeling I got before those big matches.
How would you describe your wrestling style?
When I look back on it now, I would say my wrestling style was a little soft. I wrestled very cautious on my feet because I was much better on the mat. I used a lot of cradles and halfs.
How many guys did you go back and fourth with or exchange wins with?
I exchanged wins with a handful of kids. I know I lost 3 matches at the state tournament to kids I had beat earlier in that season. Like I said, I had a tendency to fold when the lights were brightest.
Who was your most influential coach?
My brother, Joe. He took over the kids club at Bosco when I was in 8th grade so I only wrestled one season for him, but I definitely made a ton of improvements that season. I also loved wrestling for Jeff Bradley. He was an assistant coach at Don Bosco my sophomore, junior, and senior seasons.
Was your team competitive in HS?
Yes – If I remember right, we won duals in ‘05, ‘06, and ‘07 and we won traditional state in ‘06 and ‘07.
Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
My brothers, Joe and Mack.
Who are your favorite current wrestlers? You still follow the Bosco guys?
It pains me to say this because we like to cheer against the Hawkeyes in our house, but Spencer Lee is probably my favorite current wrestler. What he can do on the mat is so impressive and he seems like an awesome guy off the mat. A couple other guys I really enjoyed watching that graduated recently were Dylan Ness and Bryce Meredith (I would’ve bought his new shoes if they weren’t so ugly).
How cool is it that you wrestled, represented and performed incredibly well at such a great program like Bosco?
It was awesome wrestling for Don Bosco. I know for a fact, I wouldn’t have had the success I did at any other school. When you wrestle for a program like that, you are wrestling for so much more than yourself. Also, they have the greatest, most insane fans in the state.
Are you old enough to remember the Mashek days?
I sort of remember Dan as the coach at Bosco. I believe he left for North Scott after Joe’s freshman year which would have put me in 3rd grade so I don’t remember it well.
Do you and your brothers competitive spirits carry over to other things in life.
Oh yeah, the competitive spirit carries over big time at the Reiter Farm. I consider myself to be a pretty competitive person and I am the least competitive of my siblings. We’re not the best golfers, but we love to play and it can get really intense on the course.
Did you and your brothers ever fight over food?
I can’t remember fighting over food. I think mom always made sure there was enough to go around.
How much of an honor is it being the son of Doug Reiter?
My dad was the greatest man I have ever known. I’ve made mistakes in life, but at the end of the day, my goal has always been to be the closest resemblance to him that I can be.
Where did Reiter wrestling begin?
As far as I know, Reiter wrestling began with my dad and his brothers at Union/La Porte City. For my brothers and I, I guess it began in the wrestling room that dad built for us in the shed on the farm.
While you surely fell short of your goals, how proud are you that you hit the grand march 4 times and accomplished what 99% of all wrestlers couldn’t?
I certainty was not proud of my accomplishments when my career came to an end. I would say I am pretty proud now. Maybe not so much with the results I got at the state tournament but I am proud of how hard I worked and all of the great memories and life lessons I carry with me from my wrestling days.
What tunes would you listen to back in the wrestling days?
I didn’t really have one song or playlist that I listened to before I wrestled. I do remember listening to Disarm by The Smashing Pumpkins a lot while at state my senior year.
What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
After I lost in the state semis my junior year. My brother Bart was a freshman and he had just won a very hard fought semis match right before I wrestled. After I lost, I walked back into the tunnels at Wells Fargo arena. I wasn’t handling it the best and when I ran into Bart down in the tunnels, he was taking it just as hard as I was. I guess that made it harder to swallow. He was a freshman on his way to the state finals so he should’ve been the happiest kid in the world, but he was just as broken up over my loss as I was. I was only a junior so I’m not sure why but after that loss, part of me felt like winning a state tournament just wasn’t going to happen for me. Not exactly the mind set of a winner, haha.
If you could go back and change one this about your wrestling career, what would it be?
I wouldn’t have cut so much weight. I was absolutely terrible at cutting weight. I drained myself of all my energy and because of that, I was never getting better during season. I was only focusing on making weight.
What was your best wrestling memory or accomplishment?
I suppose my best accomplishment would be my 4 medals but my favorite memory came at State Duals my senior year. Back then, state duals were the week after state and I got a chance to re-wrestle the kid that had just beat me the week prior in the state semifinals. This time it went much better for me. I gave up an early takedown but then came back and ended up tech falling him.
Who were some of your most notable competitors in HS?
I lost to Nick LeClere a couple times my senior year.
Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
Our family always wrestled year round. I never took freestyle quite as seriously, but I still worked hard and I know it made me a much better folkstyle wrestler.
How would the guys from your day stack up against the guys today?
I don’t really know. I would guess not very well. The sport is always changing. Kids are stronger, faster and always finding better ways to train.
Did you wrestle after HS?
What other sports did you play?
I didn’t play any other sports. I played a lot of golf but not for the school. Just for fun.
What are your favorite sports teams?
Everything Minnesota. Twins, Vikings, and Gophers
What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
My two main hobbies outside of spending time with family and friends would be playing plenty of golf and watching even more Twins games.
How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
Wrestling taught me discipline and what hard work truly is. It taught me that if you really love something and believe in it, you need to give it everything you have.
What do you do now?
Currently, I am living in Ankeny with my wife, Megan, and our 8 month old daughter, Aurora. About three years ago I started my own company, Reiter Construction. We specialize in residential framing, building decks, and some interior trim carpentry. In the upcoming year, we plan to grow into more of a general contractor for custom homes.
Are you still involved in wrestling?
Yes, last year I started at Bondurant-Farrar high school as a volunteer coach.
Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
If you truly love the sport, commit to it and be willing to give it everything you have. If you don’t love it, then just go play golf because let’s be honest, its a lot more fun.
Any chance to see you wrestling again in an old timers tournament?
Probably not. Nobody needs to see me throwing up in a trash can on the edge of the mat.
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?
Ill give a shout out to my Bondurant wrestlers. They are a great group of young men with a ton of potential on and off the mat. I’d also like to say good luck to the Dons. The tournament will probably be over by the time anyone reads this, but they are wrestling at The Clash in Rochester this weekend.
Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.
I may have been the least talented wrestler in my family but I am the best looking. Just ask my wife.