LETTS — Max Mashek stands in the corner of the wrestling mat, alternately pacing and bouncing up and down, warming up for his next match, anxiously awaiting his name to be called to the mat.
Tom Mashek, Louisa-Muscatine High School head wrestling coach and Max’s father, puts his arm around Max, a sophomore 145-pound wrestler for the Falcons, and whispers a few last-second instructions into his son’s ear. The slap hands, just as they have done hundreds of times before. Max whirls, sprints to the center of the circle, grabs his leg bands, snaps them on, then looks around in the stands. Max is looking for his grandfather, Hall of Fame wrestling coach Dan Mashek, who coached Don Bosco to state championships on four separate occasions. Max always searches for “Papa Dan” in the stands, if for no other reason than a little added assurance.