CEDAR FALLS — University of Northern Iowa sophomore Bryce Steiert is all business when he steps on the wrestling mat. He has two NCAA Championships appearances to drive home that point.
Steiert is also all business in the classroom, as his 3.21 grade-point average in business management will attest.
So the way Steiert figures it, why not be all business in, well, business?
Steiert, a graduate of Waverly-Shell Rock High School, did just that last summer, going into business with his brother, Andrew, installing school equipment such as grandstands, auditorium equipment and lockers, among various other things.
It was long, hard work, but the way Steiert sees it, the benefit was twofold — he stayed in shape for the long, grueling college wrestling season and he got his feet wet in business , something he plans to do full time once his schooling and wrestling are a thing of the past.
No matter what Steiert puts his mind to, he is all business.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, which is why I ended up at UNI from a business standpoint,” Steiert said. “We raise cattle on the family farm. My brother and I did a little bit of everything last summer, from selling goats to school equipment. We worked together and made some smart investments. We worked hard and learned a lot. I learned that more than anything you have to be resilient. You have to be able to push through things, work together and overcome adversity. Some of the same things you learn in wrestling.”
Steiert, a four-time state medalist and two-time state champion for the GoHawks, learned all about hard work from an early age on the family farm. He also learned how to adapt to change, something he has done plenty of in his two years on the UNI wrestling team. Steiert wrestled as a true freshman, qualifying for the 2016 national tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
This past season, when a teammate went down with an injury, Steiert bumped up to 165 pounds, where he once again qualified for nationals. Steiert finished 22-6, with his two losses at nationals coming against opponents ranked in the top 10.
Steiert, unlike most college wrestlers, didn’t get the luxury of a redshirt year to adjust to college life and the challenges it brings. He was thrust into the spotlight to begin and was forced to learn and adapt on the fly. It hasn’t always been easy managing his time between classes, practices, road trips and studying, but he has done remarkably well under the circumstances.
“It’s all about perspectives and prioritizing,” Steiert said. “You have to plan your day out ahead of time and leave chunks of time for studying and practice. Getting your homework and studying done limits the time you have to practice. It’s really important because your tike gets harder to manage when you have big events, so you have to stay on top of things. Being on the road can be tough because you are missing classes. But all of that work can be made up. Not all of your professors work with you as well as others. It’s all your own focus and time management. You have to take ownership.”
Stewart didn’t get what he wanted at nationals, coming up just short in his quest to be an All-American. So he will get back to work in the offseason, striving to reach his goals.
He also will get back to business in the business field, something he has had on his mind all along.
“I’m hoping to be an entrepreneur, something in the agricultural field, working for myself,” Steiert said. “I’m trying to find my true passion. I’m not going to stop until I find it. I like to make the impossible happen.”