I must admit when I was asked to
cover the World Trials I hesitated for a moment. I'm not a reporter and won't
pretend to be one. I'm just a Cyclone fan with a passion for
I was worried about what to write about and nervous that nobody would find anything I had to write about interesting. I hope that hasn't been the case.
Wrestling is like a lot of other sports (soccer for some, golf for others etc…). Some people like it, some don't, and you have those people that maybe are indifferent about it.
I'm hoping for a couple things to happen from my covering the event this past weekend. My 1st hope is that if you don't like wrestling, that maybe you have at least gained an appreciation of the history of the ISU program. That's a start.
My 2nd hope is if you are
indifferent, you'll come to a meet in the future or stop by a football tailgate
for the program and get to meet the coaches and the kids who represent
When I asked wrestlers and fans at
the Legacy dinner for
These memories start with a conversation I had with Mr. Brand, and end with a story about Grant Nakamura and a young boy he met through a wrestling camp told by a long time fan.
This is one of the stories Glen Brand told at the dinner, and I was lucky enough to meet him prior, and he conveyed it to me prior to the dinner.
"I enrolled at
These are some thoughts from Jim
"One of my best wrestling moments
was the World Championship in
"There aren't all these other sports distracting you. That's why we like the World Championships better" Joan added.
"I just think seeing them wrestle in Hilton is always a thrill. I like Hilton, and to see the team wrestle at home. Back in 1985, the early 80's we used to have 15 home meets. Now with the reduction in contacts, we're down to 6 or 7 meets. Half of what we had. Those years ago when we had so many home meets at Hilton was terrific"
These recollections are from Denny Friederich. A former Cyclone All American and fan and also a Wrestling Club board member.
"My best memories are trips we took when I came in 1956, and wrestled 58-61. The team members I had were Larry Hayes, Les Anderson and Ron Gray, all National Champions. It was quite an honor to be on the team with them. We flew a lot of places. My 1st match wrestled Dave Auble who was a 2 time NCAA National Champion and he initiated me into college wrestling. I lasted till the 2nd period with him anyway, but we got 2nd in the Nationals when I was junior. I got 3rd that year, Les Anderson got 1st and Larry Hayes got 1st so we had 3 place winners. Since then just following wrestling. I really enjoy working with the Cyclone Wrestling Club helping out as much as I can.
Jim McCollough is a fan I met through following the program, and these are some of his thoughts of his memories from over the years.
"My father started bringing me to
I spoke with former Cyclone Cody Sanderson and asked if anything sticks out about his time at ISU.
"One of the most exciting competitions we had was the 2000 National Dual Meet Championship when we won that. It really just sticks out in my mind because our team really had to come together at the end and Mark Knauer had a big match against Brock Lesnar in the finals to hang on for the win. It was just a great memory and we have a great photo of it to immortalize the experience. So that's definitely one of the highlights"
The final story is from long time
booster and fan John Allen. He was discussing a camp being run down in
"The youngest ones were 8 or 9, and those little kids attached themselves to Grant just like he was a magnet. They thought he was the greatest. He was there Coach. Ask any of them, it was my coach is Grant. One of these little guys, his dad is the head coach of the youth club down there. This little guys name is Hank and to see him is to love him. He's the cutest kid you ever saw in your life, but he is the orneriest kid that God ever put on this earth. That kid has had every part of his body broken at least once. He's constantly in trouble. If he's not in trouble he's got his 2 bigger brothers in trouble. At this years camp, Hank found out Grant wasn't going to be able to make it. At the end of the camp his father could tell something little hank was thinking about something, It was on his mind. It turns out somehow or other Grant had told him that he had an aquarium and he had a lot of animals, but he didn't have a turtle. So the last day when these people were all coming in for the camp, little Hank knew it would be the last chance. He took his pet turtle and put in a box and he asked Roby, Sundell and Paulson to take that turtle back home and to give it to Grant."(FYI, the turtle is alive and well)
I would have had a good time regardless. It was both awesome and interesting to go behind the scenes at Hilton. I'm an ISU fan all the way, but being able to be on the floor and go pretty much anyplace was for me like being a kid in a candy store. One minute to be watching guys warm up and turn around and have wrestlers that I recognize from other schools and years gone by standing next to me was an incredible experience.
I appreciate the opportunity, and I hope everyone enjoyed the coverage I provided.