REMEMBER THE WRESTLER: Caleb White; Tri-Center (Neola) HS ‘11/St. Cloud St.
As a guy who had tendencies of “gassing out,” late in the match to the point where walking to the center of the mat felt like a challenge, it always amazed me when wrestlers were able to wrestle a complete, hard-fought match without even seeing like they are winded. It impresses me even more when that person seems to accumulate more energy as the match goes on. It impresses me even more when that wrestled is a heavier guy who has a bit of extra weight to carry around in their wrestling…. And to top it off, I don’t think I could be more impressed when a heavier guy has a burst of energy to blow through and score a takedown in overtime to win a 285 lb. state championship and to still have enough gas in the tank to hit a cartwheel the moment the takedown is awarded… and that’s exactly what Caleb White did.
Caleb White was an absolute hammer of a 285 lber in his day. As a Sophomore, he placed 4th in a deep 2009 1A 285 lb. bracket that was won by another one of my favorites, Kyle Kober of West Branch. Placing this high at 285 as an underclassman is tough, I don’t care who you are. As a Junior, he put together another solid season and placed 4th again with a season record of 44-8. His Senior season, he had a perfect record headed into the state tournament and was paired in the finals against the guy who placed 5th behind him, Joe Koehn of Valley Community Elgin, who was on fire at the time. The match ended up being tied 3-3 at the end of regulation and while they were about to start the first OT on their feet, the crowd may have been expecting a double or triple OT match decided by an escape or something at the end that you commonly see at 285. Nope… Caleb White came out FIRING as the whistle blew for the first OT as if the OT had helped him attain extra energy and seemingly overwhelmed Koehn to secure a takedown and the state title. And to top things off, he was so excited that he hit a cartwheel at the end of the match.
White was accomplished in offseason work, for he was a multiple Fargo AA in Greco and Freestyle and was a Cadet Runner-Up. He was a double All-American at the Junior US Open…a champion at the 2013 Pan-American Freestyle Wrestling tournament in Chile and he also finished as a runner-up in 2013 Pan-American Greco-Roman tournament
White was also accomplished in football, where he was all-district and invited to play in the Shrine Bowl. He was also involved in show choir and accomplished at trapshooting.
White went on to wrestle collegiately at St. Cloud St.
Caleb White… that’s an impressive athlete. Here is his story!!!
2009 1A 285
1. Kyle Kober, Sr., West Branch
2. Cory Becker, Sr., Don Bosco
3. Dallas Hendrickson, Sr., Saint Ansgar
4. Caleb White, So., Tri-Center (Neola)
5. Dan Kruger, Sr., West Hancock
6. Roman Malone, Sr., Ogden
7. Jace Timpe, Sr., Mason City Newman
8. Dylan Lame, Jr., Mount Ayr
2010 1A 285
1st: Caleb Wilken, Nashua-Plainfield SR 42- 1
2nd: Dylan Lame, Mount Ayr SR 34- 4
3rd: Brendan TerWee, West Lyon Inwood JR 42- 5
4th: Caleb White, Tri-Center Neola JR 44- 8
5th: Joe Koehn, Valley Community Elgin SO 41- 14
6th: Wil Rathjen, Durant-Bennett SR 39- 7
7th: Dustin Schwaller, Okoboji Milford SR 43- 6
8th: Adam Steger, Maquoketa Valley Delhi SO 34- 10
2011 1A 285
1st: Caleb White, Tri-Center Neola SR 37- 0
2nd: Joe Koehn, Valley Community Elgin JR 43- 3
3rd: Tanner Johnson, Dike-New Hartford SR 35- 4
4th: Tyler Smith, Lisbon JR 39- 3
5th: Marco Naughton, St. Albert Council Bluffs JR 46- 4
6th: Brendan Ter Wee, West Lyon Inwood SR 37- 3
7th: Dillon Mugge, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn JR 23- 16
8th: Matt Eads, Interstate 35 Truro SR 38- 7
PINDOX: What clubs, schools, etc. did you wrestle for?
CALEB WHITE ⁃ TC kids, Golden Eagles wrestling club, Tri- Center High School, St. Cloud State University.
⁃ Iowa National Teams and US pan American teams.
PINDOX: What year did you graduate?
CALEB WHITE ⁃ 2011 from TCHS. 2015 from SCSU
PINDOX: Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
CALEB WHITE – My Dad Coached TC-Kids for 20 some years and with 3 brothers it was kind of a given and my best friends Scott Manhart and Luke Hubert wrestled so it was a good chance to hang out as well, hahaha.
PINDOX: Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
CALEB WHITE – My Dad wrestled in High School in MT and wrestled Dana College. My older brother Colton White was a also a TCHS Grad and placed 5th (171) and 3rd (215) at state then went on to wrestle at Simpson College for a while. My younger Bother Ethan white was also a grad at TCHS and letter winner and my youngest brother Emmett White was a letter winner at TCHS, but better known from his singing of the national anthem at most of the wrestling meets TC attended.
PINDOX: What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
CALEB WHITE⁃ That’s a question for my mom and dad, for I never really paid attention to that stuff until I got to high school, I did wrestle on a few Iowa folkstyle teams, never had any rivals just kids that new growing up and loved the chance to wrestle them. Guys like Mark Fry of Mo Valley, Marco Naughten of Saint Alberts, Travis Ricter of Treynor, Dillion Suhr of Guthrie Center. Never rivals just good wrestling buddies.
PINDOX: What was your record in HS?
CALEB WHITE- 126-11
PINDOX: How did you place at state every year?
Fr.- DNP, So- 4th, Jr- 4th, Sr- 1st with a 32-0 season!
PINDOX: What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
CALEB WHITE- One year I cut my leg with a chainsaw about a week before Fargo and had to use three changing blood-soaked bandages in between periods and matches, but it turned out okay. I believe I got 2nd in Greco that year and 8th in Freestyle. Also, I did have to lose 88 pounds my Sr to wrestle. I did it in about 40 days I thought I was going to play football in college and with two 4th place finishes I wanted to give up, but mom and dad wouldn’t let me, hahaha! Other than not really any major stuff. “Life is one big adversity” is what I always thought. Tom Brands once said at a camp. If you are competing at 100% with no injuries that you weren’t training hard enough and doomed to fail.
PINDOX: How would you describe your wrestling style?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Brady Wilson of SCSU once described my style in an interview he said that I was “methodical in my positioning and dangerous when I got a hold of you.” He later explained that I never really got into a wild rush with I was up or down but just slowly would turn the pace up as the match went on and when I saw an opportunity to put you away I took it with little chance of recovery. I wrestled like that from high school through college.
PINDOX: How many guys in high school did you go back and forth with or exchange wins with?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Dylan Lame was the only kid i got to go back and fourth with other my other losses were usual one offs.
PINDOX: Who was your most influential coach?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Hmm, that’s very tough because I connected with my coaches very well. Coach Hensley will always be my favorite, but Coach Costanzo, coach Wilson and Heath Lamp taught me a lot of life lessons. Sam Barber, Mike Denny and Steve Mickels (of Ballard huskily) would all be honorable mentions in my book.
PINDOX: Was your team competitive in HS/college?
CALEB WHITE ⁃ HS, yes I believe TCHS was a 1a power house especially in SW Iowa. In college, SCSU WAS and still is top Dog in D2 with their first national title while I was there and they’ve also had several runner-ups.
PINDOX: Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I would say locally it was my brother Colton, I always felt I had to prove that I was better than him, so that pushed me a lot.
⁃ Regionally it was Steve Mocco of Iowa, I never actually got to meet him, but i tried to emulate is style of wrestling and loved watching him wrestle.
⁃ Olympic level it was Rulon Gardner, being a HWT my whole life I really looked up to him and wanted to be just like him.
PINDOX: Who would you consider the GOAT Iowa HS wrestler?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I know this is cliche, but Dan Gable wold have to be the GOAT.
PINDOX: Are there any wrestlers you’ve seen, past or present that you would compare your style to?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I would say Steve Mocco, but what do I know, haha!
PINDOX: What are some interesting hypothetical matchups between guys from different eras that you would have been interesting in seeing?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I’d like to see:
– Bruce Baumgartner vs. Dremeal Beyers.
⁃ Kyle Snyder and Cale Sanderson
⁃ Dan Gable and Jordan Burroughs
⁃ John Smith and Spencer Lee
PINDOX: Who are some Iowa HS wrestling guys from your era that you have an immense amount of respect for?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I cant think of any of the top of my head. I would say anyone that pick the sport up at an early age stuck through it all and went to college to wrestle.
PINDOX: Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
CALEB WHITE- Kyle Snyder, Tony Cassioppi, Spencer Lee, Gable Steveson… Any one who wrestle for TCHS or SCSU.
PINDOX: What music would you listen to back in the wrestling days?
CALEB WHITE- A lot of Tech 9 and Eminem. I’d say the go to on repeat was Riot Maker by Tech 9 and “Til I Collapse” by Eminem.
PINDOX: What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Probably when I lost to Caleb Wilken my Jr year because it was triple overtime and he was what I would call not a true HWT because he was like 230-240, I think and I blamed it on the ref and threw a fit afterwards and was not very sportsmanlike. I’d say that probably hurt the most and Caleb Wilken is a good guy that I never had any animosity towards, but never got a rematch haha
PINDOX: If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I would dedicate more time to training and submerge myself in it like the Olympians do, but do it earlier. Other than that, it has taught me so much about life and got me to where I am today.
PINDOX: What was your best wrestling memory or accomplishment?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I would say winning state. I know that everyone says that, but that season and that match, I worked so hard and failed twice before. I hit rock bottom during that season. It was something that I devoted so much time and energy towards I never wanted anything more than to win that title and when I did, I could have died right there and been happy. I had a poster in my room that read exactly how the anouncer would say my name on the top of the podium and I would stare at every night night when I went to bed and it was the first thing i saw when I woke up. And as far a fun memory, Fargo Camp with Kyle Kober, Austin Blyth and the rest of those guys was a blast.
PINDOX: Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
CALEB WHITE⁃ In HS I’d say Austin Blyth but we only competed in the off season, Adam Coon again in the off season. In college, I can’t really remember.
PINDOX:Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I wrestled all year.
PINDOX: How would the guys from your day stack up against the guys today?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I think at HWT, my day was tougher, but I think every retired wrestler would say that.
PINDOX: What inspired the cartwheel at the end of your state finals win? Adrenaline or was it something you had thought about before?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Well you could boil it down to 2 reasons. 1.) I saw Rulon Gardener do it after he won the Olympic gold. 2.) There were some Mo Valley boys who were egging me on to do a back flip off the chair, but I didn’t know how to do it, haha and my assistant Coach Heath Lamp called me little girl and said I wouldn’t do it so that was the first thing that I did when I won. I hugged Henz and shook Lamps hand and said “watch this” and that was it. The bonus was that was the first year they started penalizing points for celebration and it was my last match at the Well so I sent it.
PINDOX: In the state finals in OT, you appeared to have had a burst of energy…. What was going through your mind when you started the first OT period?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Coach Hensley pounded in our Head that OT was our Time is was like a gift from god to go to OT and that’s were men are separated from boys, we trained to have a 2nd boost of adrenalin when OT started so when we went into OT i saw my Joe Koen look down and winsed kind of shaking his head and that when i knew i had him beat before the OT even started.
PINDOX: Did you wrestle after high school?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Yes SCSU
PINDOX: What other sports did you play?
CALEB WHITE-Football, Trap, some baseball and some track and field.
PINDOX: What are your favorite sports teams?
CALEB WHITE⁃ professional teams are a joke Cologne is where its at i like the Hawkeyes.
PINDOX: What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Rasing my 2 daughter Nora and Callie with my wife Katie, raising pigs with my mom, Dad and Brother. Trucking and going to Truck shows.
PINDOX: How good does it make you feel to give back to the sport?
CALEB WHITE – It felt great when I was coaching, but life happened and had to step away, but I left the program with someone I trust very, very much.
PINDOX: How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
CALEB WHITE⁃ it taught me that life’s not fair, you have to the best you can with what you have, and only worry about the thing you can control. And “once you’ve wrestled everything else in life it easy” -Dan Gable
PINDOX: What do you do now?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I own and operate Twisted W Trucking llc and get to Travel the lower 48 everyday and get to see the country for my Peterbilt windshield, hahaha.
PINDOX: Are you still involved with wrestling?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Well, not as mush as wish to be.
PINDOX: Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
CALEB WHITE⁃ I’d say buy into the program your coach has for you and wrestle year round!
PINDOX: Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
CALEB WHITE⁃ Oh boy I don’t know that would take. I would have to start running again before that is even considered, but not completely out of the cards
PINDOX: Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?
CALEB WHITE⁃ anyone that has ever been involved in my wrestling ( you know who you are) i want to say thank you! I didn’t become the man I am today all by my self
PINDOX: Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.
CALEB WHITE⁃There used to be a crowd around me after weigh-ins to watch me eat a jello cup in about .25 seconds. I have the perfect technique
Here’s some trivia “ I absolute despised that yellow singlet I won my state title in. I wore it once.
Here’s a funny story. I asked my mom for something to add here because she was The Predicament in human form and she told me to tell the Chile story… So the summer between my sophomore and JR year at college, I was at home and my mom was in the garage and she came in the house a little rattled and said, “I think this is for you.” I was confused and the voice on the other end said, “do you want it wrestle on the US team vs. Chile and I said, “who is this?” It was none other than Bill Zadick and some how he had tracked my mom’s phone number down and called her to ask if her son wanted to wrestle. I thought it was a joke until he conferenced Sam Barber in…Hahahah we still laugh about it.
If you do a podcast or a face book live or something I could tell you tons of stories not only about me, but other big name wrestlers.
I love talking about wrestling!!!
*** Pin Doctors does not yet monetize, for at this time it is funded via donation only. If you would like to contribute to The Pin Doctors, you can Venmo @thepindoctors or @ricowaff if that doesn’t work… Or if you want to donate via cash/check, our address is P.O. Box 298, Mediapolis, IA 52637…. I can’t even describe how much your contributions mean to me. Hopefully we can get some podcasts going or set up some events. THANK YOU.