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Remember The Wrestler: Cole Welter, Don Bosco/Wartburg College

So I decided to list all of the Don Bosco wrestling state champions’ last names in alphabetical order! Here it is!

Becker (Todd)

Bedard (Tony)

Brenda (Jim)

Even (Tommy)

Fox (Gable and Ray)

Francis (Al)

Hogan (Mike, Tom, Pat)

Kettman (Taylor)

Kimball (Daniel)

Mangrich (Mark, Scott)

Mills (Corey)

O’Laughlin (David, Phil)

Pecenka (Troy)

Purdy (Troy)

Reiter (Joe, Mack, Bart)

Schmitz (Jeff)

Thome (Irv, Steve, Jake)

Weber (Daryl, Lee, Mark)

AND THAT’S IT!!! Very impressive wrestling in Don Bosco, but even more impressive pinpoint accuracy on my part!

Just kidding. I left out one of the best last names to ever wrestle in the state of Iowa. 

Welter (Clay, Cole)

You can’t discuss Don Bosco without mentioning the Welter family! The Welter’s are last in alphabetical order on the ever-growing list of Don Bosco state champions, but were 1st on the podium at the Iowa HS State Tournament 5 times, with Cole Welter winning 3 and his cousin, Clay winning 2 of them. Can’t forget Brandon Welter, Cole’s brother… he placed 4 times and was in the running to win it each year. He was top 3 every year!

Also crazy that guys’ whose last name ends with “ter” at Don Bosco account for 14 individual state titles and 26 state placings in 26 tries… Reiter-Welter. If I am not mistaken, no Reiter brother (Joe, Mack, Eddie, Bart) or Welter brother/cousin (Cole, Clay, Brandon) was ever eliminated from the state tournament. They were 26/26 in their state appearances in terms of bringing home hardware.

Cole Welter… the last in alphabetical order for Don Bosco’s wrestling state champions, but possibly the first and only wrestler in the entire state of Iowa to ever be: A HS state champion, an individual national champion in college, a member of a Don Bosco HS squad that won 4 traditional state titles and 4 state dual titles, a member of a Wartburg College wrestling squad that won 4 national team dual titles and 4 national traditional team titles. That is 20 championship titles for Cole Welter! Is there anyone else in the history of HS wrestling who has done this?!?! I don’t think so…?

W is for Welter, wrestling and win… Coincidence? I don’t think so… because in wrestling, winning was all that Cole Welter did!

Big thanks to Don Bosco wrestling… they’ve always been supportive of a large percentage of what I’ve posted in the past. Don Bosco is what every wrestling community should strive to be… Wrestlers at Don Bosco are treated in the same high regard by their community that football players from prestigious squads in Texas are treated by their community. If every HS wrestling community were like them, then wrestlers would be paid athletes at the professional level for decades now.



What clubs, schools, etc. did you wrestle for?

Team Bosco as a grade schooler/middle schooler.

Don Bosco HS

Wartburg College 


What year did you graduate?

High School 2010

College 2014

Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?

My mom and dad said I wasn’t going to sit around in the Winter and do nothing and I was too small to play basketball so since its Gilbertville, they told me to give wrestling a try.  


Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.?

My brother Brandon, my cousin Clay and my cousin Dillon.


How did they do?

Brandon was 2,2,3,3 at state

Clay did not make the team at a freshman then went 1,1,6

Dillon is currently still in high school


What were your youth results? Any rivals there?

4th as a 6th grader and 3rd as an 8th grader. No real rivals. Probably my best win as a youth that comes to mind is Tanner Weatherman and then he beat me the same year for 3rd and 4th at state. Wrestled Elijah Sullivan a few times as well and we traded wins I believe.


What was your record in HS?

162-14 I believe


How did you place at state every year?



What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?

Freshman year of high school I wrestled Bart Reiter basically every single day. I think I got like MAYBE 5 takedowns all year. I got my ass kicked everyday basically. It sucked. But, I got so much better because of it.

Another would be after losing in the semi-finals my sophomore year. We had an afternoon session I think and later that night was the consolation semi-finals. A few hours go by and I am still pouting, being a little baby and coaches are trying to get my mind right and I am letting it go in one ear and out the other. I get beat in a close match again that round and that loss sticks out so much to me because it was probably the only time in my career I had the, “I don’t care” attitude.

Probably the best one I can think of was my Junior year at districts. I was sicker than a dog but I had a pretty good district bracket. Won easy first round,  but in the finals I get beaten by Mulnix pretty handily and have a wrestle back vs Procter (won state the next year). He reverses me with about 10 seconds left and we go out of bounds. I reverse him as time expires to make it to state. I remember being so drained while we were shaking hands that if it went to OT, that outcome probably wouldn’t have happened. So I am feeling pretty good and like I would get back to 100% by state and we’d make a run at this thing. Well the pairings came out later that night and I drew Jake Demmon who was ranked 1st and I was ranked 2nd. Demmon had beaten Bart Reiter the Summer before and like I said earlier, I had about 8 takedowns total against Bart in my high school career. So you can imagine where my mind was at. Well, I shut off the bad vibes and my coaches helped me get my mind right and made me believe I was the better guy and I ended up winning that match and winning state that year.


How would you describe your wrestling style?

I would say that changed a lot over the years. At first I would shoot a lot and never tie up and was always in the open, then it changed to scrambling all the time and a lot of leg passes but that was a lot of work J so my coaches at Wartburg kind of put that all together to form a balanced style I guess you could call it.


How many guys in high school did you go back and forth with or exchange wins with?

Derric Thomas, Nick Sand, Logan Mulnix. Almost half my losses in high school were at The Clash so I didn’t get to wrestle those guys again.


Who was your most influential coach?

Man, there are a lot of them. So many coaches have played a role in my success in so many ways. Tom Kettman, Ray Fox, Tom Hogan, Jeff Bradley, Brian Frost, Cory Christensen, Jim Miller, Chris Ortner, Eric Keller, Chris Smith, Carrington Banks.


Was your team competitive in HS/college?

Luckily, very competitive.

4x state dual champs/4x traditional state champs in high school

4x national dual champs/4x traditional national champs in college


Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?

Mack Reiter was probably the main one. He was chasing four titles while I was starting to get serious about wrestling and I remember always wanting to cradle everybody because that’s what he did. I always remember how intense and competitive he was as well and I have always been a competitive person, but the intensity he brought to big matches was something I picked up on and instilled in myself. I also remember being a huge Mark Perry fan in high school because of his style on top and his scrambling  abilities.


Who would you consider the GOAT Iowa HS wrestler?

Mark Schwab


Who are your favorite current wrestlers?

All of my Don Bosco wrestlers. I don’t have a favorite per say. Anyone who is willing to go to battle and lay it on the line is a bad dude to me.


What music would you listen to back in the wrestling days?

Never been a guy to get hyped up because of music or a certain song, but, I remember the song When You Were Young by The Killers played at Wells Fargo my freshman year when I won state so every year after that I played that song on my walk over to Wells Fargo before the sessions to get my mind where it needed to be.


What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?

Soph. year of high school.  Losing in the semifinals was upsetting and disappointing. Also, Sophomore year of college I lost in the blood round to place in a close match and that was also a very tough pill to swallow.


If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?

A few things come to mind when I read this question. I would have thought more about getting better every day in the wrestling room than about how much weight I needed to lose my sophomore year of high school. I wish I would have bought in earlier in college. I kind of just went with the flow my first year and a half at least and thought my time would come instead of making it happen. Once I bought in, I got a lot better in a hurry. I also wish I would have given freestyle a chance.


What was your best wrestling memory or accomplishment?

Winning a national title for Wartburg in 2014


Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?

Cody Caldwell, Levi Wolfensberger, Nazar Kulchytskyy


Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?

Pretty seasonal. I wouldn’t wrestle much at all during the Summers because I was busy with baseball and that was something I put a lot of time into as well. I would start rolling around and getting serious in the fall while football was going on.


How would the guys from your day stack up against the guys today?

This is a big question and answer for me. Do you know how many arguments have been had over this question? I think the team I was on in 2009 (and probably 2008) was better than the DB 79 team. My guys now think they are better than the 2009 team. I think overall wrestling is getting better though and always evolving. The club theme that wasn’t really around back in my day, I think is a big reason for everyone making strides because they can go there and wrestle the top guys from other schools and make each other better.


Did you wrestle after high school?

Yes, wrestled for Wartburg College.


What other sports did you play?

Baseball in high school.


What are your favorite sports teams?

Atlanta Braves (Chop-On) is the main professional sports team I follow. I also like the Steelers.


What are your hobbies other than wrestling?

I play a lot of slow pitch softball in the Summer traveling around the Midwest. I also enjoy golfing and boating.


How good does it make you feel to give back to the sport?

I get more satisfaction out of my guys achievements than my own. Watching them get better and work hard to achieve a goal is something special.


How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?

The phrase Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy” is pretty accurate. Sure there are tough days at my job or news I don’t like to hear, but nothing compares to the day to day grind that wrestling gives you.


What do you do now?

I am an Sr. OnSite specialist for Stryker Endoscopy.


Are you still involved with wrestling?

I am an assistant coach for Don Bosco.


Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?

Be coachable and have fun with the sport. People wont remember what you did in wrestling as a pee-wee and will hardly remember what you did in grade school so do not burn yourself out when high school, college and even after are the most important years of competing. Also, how you deal with fatigue and feeling uncomfortable is going to dictate a lot on your results. It’s literally inevitable that youre going to get tired in a wrestling match. How you deal with it is on you.


Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?

Kind of a funny answer to that. The short answer is hopefully not. The longer answer is I am in a fantasy wrestling league, and one of the punishments for getting last that we have thrown around for the last few years is to enter and wrestle into an old timer’s tournament. I don’t plan on getting last, so probably not going to happen!


Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?

All my past teammates at Wartburg and Don Bosco, my coaches (thank you again), the DB Faithful, my wife (just to see if she reads this).


Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.

Has there ever been another wrestler in the state of Iowa to be on teams that went 8/8 in state and state duals and then went 8/8 in college for nationals and national duals?

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