The story of this guy’s career is really, really cool. Very inspirational. To any Junior in high school who falls short of their goals this year, read what this guy has to say, for he is absolute proof that you can still end your high school careers on a high note.
Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
My dad. I was a kid with a lot of energy so it was a good way to burn that off!
Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
– My dad and uncle wrestled in high school.
What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
– I went to AAU State once and was a match away from placing. No real rivals at that time.
What was your record in HS?
How did you do at state?
– Senior year I was runner up at 112 in 1A.
What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
– My senior year I fractured my left leg in three spots right before sectionals. I had to make the choice to wrestle or not. Chose to wrestle and ended up placing 2nd at State.
Who was your most influential coach?
– Dave Morgan. Helped me fully believe I was talented enough to place at state.
Was your team competitive in HS/college?
– We went to state duals two years out of the four. My senior year we were 8th at traditional state.
Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
– Jessie Whitmer for sure.
Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
– Spencer Lee and Austin DeSanto.
What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
– After my junior year,semi final loss at sectionals. I had a ton of confidence going into that tournament. I swear to this day. I had that guy pinned in the first period, but credit to him, he came back from being down 7-0 and pinned me. He lost in the finals, so I didn’t get to wrestle back.
What was your best wrestling memory/accomplishment?
– Best memory was senior year making the state finals. Didn’t end up how I wanted, but it was a fun ride.
Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
– Jason Stump from Clarion-Goldfield. I either pinned him or he pinned me! Also, Cody Rognes from Lake Mills. Both those guys were great wrestlers and the matches between them were always the funnest to wrestle.
Who was the fiercest competitor you ever faced?
– Tyler Bjustrom hands down. Absolute monster.
How cool was it to represent North Central Iowa at such a high level the way you did? –
0 It was a lot of fun. A lot of rich wrestling tradition.
Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
– I did a few off season tournaments. Wish I had done more.
Did you wrestle after high school?
– No. I had to have surgery on my leg and at that time I wasn’t in the wrestling mood at all.
How would you describe your wrestling style?
– I would say tactical. I had a really good cradle, so I wanted to get that first take down and work to pin the guy. Always looking for that cradle!
What other sports did you play?
– I ran cross country.
Did you have good practice partners to help push you in the room?
– Absolutely. Mark Kist, Kelby Ryerson and Blake Lindstrom. I owe a lot to those three for we had a lot of good scraps in that room.
What are your favorite sports teams?
– Hawkeyes and Vikings and Minnesota Wild!
What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
– I enjoy hockey a lot.
How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
– It has taught me to never give up. Work hard and what you’re after will eventually happen.
What do you do now?
– Account Executive for an office technology company.
Are you still involved with wrestling?
– Not as much as I would like to be.
Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
– Set goals and work hard to achieve those goals. Also, be coachable and willing to get better every day not just in wrestling, but in life as well.
Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
– I plan on doing one in April. I’ve wanted to do one for a long time. I just want to go and have some fun.
Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc..
– A funny story. My boss and I were talking about wrestling and I showed him a picture of me after I won in the semi finals at state in 2004. He goes, “who did you wrestle in the finals?” I said, “Pat Makey and he kicked my butt.” Turns out my boss’s cousin is Pat Makey. Too small of world sometimes, haha!