I started wrestling in 6th grade when my PE teacher (who also happened to be the wrestling coach) told me I was in trouble and had to stay after school.
To my surprise I wasn't in trouble.
My teacher wanted an excuse to keep me from basketball practice to try wrestling for a day.
He saw something in me I didn't. A potential I didn't know I had.
My youth coaches mentored me. Believed in me. Empowered me to be my best - on and off the mat.
That first year, I became the only 6th grader to place in districts in my weight class (103 lbs 6th – 8th Div). In 7th grade year I placed at state; and in 8th grade I was undefeated and won multiple national titles.
My freshman year of high school started with a knee injury that required surgery. I had to sit out the entire year.
The following year I was more determined than ever and became the youngest wrestler in the state to make it to the state tournament at the 171 lbs weight class. Unfortunately my state championship goals were shattered by a loss in double overtime to the number one seed in the quarterfinals.
Junior year, I went on to win a state title at 171 lbs. And senior year I won another state title at 189 lbs in addition to a perfect undefeated record.
Wrestling became my ticket to Oregon State University.
Shortly after arriving at Oregon State I was told I needed shoulder surgery that resulted in sitting out my first two years.
Another shoulder surgery followed my junior year and after sitting out a third consecutive college wrestling season I decided to retire from competitive wrestling.
While this setback was devastating at the time, it led me to my true calling: to mentor and coach kids and teens who were just like me - in need of someone who sees their hidden potential and empowers them to do great things with their lives on and off the wrestling mat.
Having coached at dozens of wrestling camps and with hundreds of high school and youth state champions, I now own and operate Competitive Edge Sports Training Center. Additionally, I'm the founder and head coach of the Cornhusker Wrestling Club; and the head coach of the new Lincoln Lutheran High School wrestling program.