Do you have any family who wrestled before you? How did they do?
My dad is my only family member who wrestled before me. He was part of a state dual championship team.
Did you catch on to wrestling quickly or was it a gradual process?
It was a gradual process, I started wrestling in 3rd grade and I didn’t really fully catch on to it until about 6th grade.
What club did you wrestle for growing up and how would you describe your experience with the club?
I wrestled for a number of different clubs throughout the years. The local Wapsie Youth Club, Trophy Hunters (no longer a thing), DC Elite, Elite Takedown Club (no longer a thing), Panther Wrestling Club, Eastern Iowa Wrestling Club, and Immortal Athletics. All clubs were great experiences. I had many great coaches and partners that have formed me into the wrestler I am today.
What are a couple memorable moments from youth/JH wrestling?
The first time I placed at AAU state in 6th grade, Winning Grade School State in the Jacobsen Center, placing 3rd at USAW Folkstyle Nationals (Pinning Alex Facundo and losing to Beau Bartlett in OT).
Who were your wrestling heroes growing up?
Jordan Burroughs, Dan Gable, Joe Colon, Logan Steiber, Matt McDonough, Tony Ramos.
How did you finish at state tournaments in youth?
AAU State: 7th, 3rd
Grade School State: 5th, 1st
How did you finish at the state tournaments you wrestled in at the HS level?
Was there ever a point in your career where you noticed yourself jumping levels and making huge strides?
In 5th to 6th grade, I really bought into the sport and invested a lot of time into it. Also the summer after my freshman year I grew a lot as a wrestler.
Who were some of your toughest competitors in HS?
Bryce West, Trey Brisker, Keaton Geerts, Connor Cleveland, Riley Wright, Cade Tenold
Who did you have the best battles with?
Caleb Wilson (Denver), Nick Meling (East Marshall), Kaden Kilburg (Lisbon)
What are your wrestling goals now that you are moving on from high school?
NCAA National Champion.
How would you describe your wrestling style? Who would you compare yourself to?
Technical, but also gritty. I would compare myself to Alex Marinelli because his technique is clean, but he can also power through things when it gets tough.
Do you have any regrets from wrestling or did you leave it all out there?
I do not have any regrets. I do everything to the best of my ability no matter the situation I’m in. I give the best I possibly can even if I’m not at my best (health wise or otherwise).
What other sports do you play and how have you done at them?
Football and track. I was part of district champion teams in both football and track.
What are some of your hobbies besides wrestling? And what is a favorite moment?
Spending time with friends and family at the Mississippi River. My favorite moment would probably be playing beach volleyball with my boy Jason Even or beating up on old guys like Jerrod Rechemmer in beach wrestling matches.
What is your favorite HS wrestling memory?
My sophomore year as a whole. I won state, Donny Schmit and I made school history by having two state finalists in the same year for the first time ever. We made it to state duals and got 7th, and our coaches got 1A coaches of the year.
What is some of the best advice you ever received?
The little things matter.
Do you have any advice for up and coming wrestlers?
Put in tons of extra time, throughout the season and in the summertime.
Who were some of the most influential coaches you worked with at the youth and HS level?
David Bonin, All the WV coaches (especially my dad), Grant Henderson, Jim Kelly, Cruse Aarhus, Joey Lazor, Jake Hodges, Dusty Coufal, Clayton Rush, Jared Creason, Danny Reetz.
What was some of your favorite tournaments?
State, the environment there doesn’t compare to any other high school athletic event in the state of Iowa. Also the Tripoli tournament because the competition is always tough with Lisbon, Denver, and Woodbury Central.
Being a 1A school, how important is it to participate in other activities? What others are you involved in?
Very important since we are small. Throughout high school I was involved in football, wrestling, and track.
What are your college plans? Is wrestling in your future whether it be competing or coaching?
I plan to attend Wartburg College and major in Business Management with a minor in Leadership. I plan to wrestle at Wartburg and after my college career I plan to coach wrestling on either the youth or high school level, possibly both.
What is the future outlook for Wapsie Valley wrestling?
The future of Wapsie Valley Wrestling is bright. We have a very strong youth program that builds a strong base for wrestlers to build on throughout their careers. The high school coaches also do a very good job growing their wrestlers and bringing out the best in them.