Ryan Valline wrestled for East Marshall/GMG and graduated in 2011. He was the first State Champ for EM/GMG and holy cow did he ever win a deep bracket and holy cow did he ever win an exciting match in the finals. His wrestling story is a great one! A great wrestler who did an awesome job getting things rolling for his HS program.
What clubs, schools, etc. did you wrestle?
I wrestled at South Tama club until my 5th or 6th grade year. Then I went to East Marshall for a year before going to Cedar Rapids Hammerin Hawks. Then I transferred schools to East Marshall my 8th grade year until I graduated. In college I went to Iowa Central for a semester and spent two years at Itasca Community College in Minnesota.
What year did you graduate?
I graduated in 2011.
Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
My dad is the one who encouraged me to give wrestling a try.
Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
My dad wrestled only a couple years when he was in high school. My brother wrestled from the time he was young until his senior year. I’m not quite sure how my dad did but my brother had an average career.
What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
My youth results were not great. I lost a lot of matches when I was younger. I believe it was roughly my 6th grade year is when I started winning matches and tournaments. I finally placed at AAU state my 8th grade year. I took third.
What was your record in HS?
I believe it was a 154-27.
How did you place at state every year?
Soph 6th at 160
Jr 5th at 152
Sr 1st at 152
What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
I would have to say wrestling in the finals. The guy had beaten me twice at in the prior weeks. I was down 4-3 with 13 seconds lefts. After a couple shot attempts my opponent got hit with stalling and it was his 3rd stall call which tied up the match and I didn’t know it. I took a shot and got a takedown with 1 second left on the clock.
How many guys in high school did you go back and forth with or exchange wins with?
I would have to say Chase Skoneczka from Benton. Throughout high school I beat him every time but the scores kept getting closer and closer. Then our senior year, he beat me at sectionals and districts. We both went on to make the finals and once again it came down to the end with me scoring a last second takedown to win 6-4.
Who was your most influential coach?
Was your team competitive in HS/college?
East Marshall was a very competitive team. We took 7th 3 years in a row at traditional state. My junior year we finally were able to make it to dual state after losing to Dallas Center Grimes and Denver Tripoli the previous years at regional duals. We finished 4th.
Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
Spencer Lee and Kyle Dake
What music would you listen to back in the wrestling days?
In the practice room in high school, we listened to a lot of classic rock. In college my teammates were more into the rap music.
What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
My freshman year in high school. I won sectionals and was the heavy favorite to win districts and my first match I wrestled sloppy and it went into sudden victory and I had to ride him out. The guy stood up and I was about to bring him back to the mat and I tripped and lost my grip. Then the guy I beat in the finals at sectionals went on to place at state. I told myself I would never put myself in that situation again.
If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?
I would go back and start lifting in high school.
What was your best wrestling memory or accomplishment?
Being the first state champion for East Marshall/GMG. There are many wrestlers that I thought would be the first for EM/GMG. A couple that comes to mind is Brett Rosedale and Sam Upah. They both were great wrestlers.
Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
Tanner Weatherman and Blake Soresenson
Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
I wrestled all year.
Did you wrestle after high school?
I wrestled at Iowa Central for a semester before joining the military. I didn’t compete there. Then I wrestled up at Itasca Community College in Minnesota for Dan Lovell who coached me in freestyle and greco.
What other sports did you play?
What are your favorite sports teams?
Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Vikings
What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
Hunt, fish, and lift weights.
How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
Wrestling has taught me to be a hard worker at everything I do.
What do you do now?
I am currently a Lineman Apprentice.
Are you still involved with wrestling?
Sadly no. I was a coach for a freestyle club up north and I was a freestyle and ref for a few years.
Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?
I would have to shout out to coaches Todd Hinegardner, Kelly Madison, Dan Lovell. Also shout out to a couple wrestlers that kicked my butt every day in practice, Sam Upah and Jase Schossow.
Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.
After I won state, I walked back into the locker room and on my bag was a one dollar bill with the words State Champ on it. To this day, I still do not know who did that.