On November 19, 2014, I am thankful for coaching wrestling.

I love wrestling on every level – from personally wrestling in tournaments, to officiating, to coaching as a volunteer assistant at Washington High School. I have had the pleasure of being in wrestling rooms as a volunteer coach most of my life, beginning in George, IA when head coach Steve Weier welcomed me into the room. I have considered myself a student of the sport, watching technique tapes, studying wrestling philosophies, and being an avid follower of the most successful college program over the last 35 – the Iowa Hawkeyes.

There have been many changes in the sport over the many years I have participated. I began as a freshman at Flandreau High School, but my favorite move- the figure 4 on the body- is no longer a legal move, and the key lock I use to prevent my leg from being able to be dislodged will often draw an official’s whistle even though I don’t use it illegally by putting pressure on a knee. At SDSU under Warren Williamsen I began using cut-backs and neck wrenches after watching Wade Schalles from Clarion pin his way through the national championship. Schalles was the most amazing wrestler I have ever watched- skinny and bowlegged, it seemed as though his burly opponents would crush him, but time after time it seemed the minute they grabbed him, the match would end with a pin. Unfortunately, those moves are now illegal as well, as are others of my favorites over the years. I suppose it is appropriate considering that it was an illegal takedown that eliminated me from the state tournament my senior year. I have personally used a variety of wrestling styles and moves over the years and that has enabled me to work with individual wrestlers to find styles of wrestling that will fit them the best.

I took the coaching courses in Iowa and was accredited there, and beginning this year South Dakota is connecting to a national program requiring online courses that I have been busy taking during my free time. It has caused me to fall a little behind on these thankful postings, but I am thankful for them as coach Marc Murren has said that WHS will pay for the courses and I need to take them to continue as a coach on the high school level..

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