Lutheran West Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Wrestling!

On October 28th, Lutheran West celebrated the 50th anniversary of Wrestling. View pictures here. Dave Ressler (Class of ’86, wrestling state qualifier, current LW faculty and current coach of 20 years) created a literal walk down memory lane for guests to reminisce. As alumni arrived, the scene was set. The main LW hallway was transformed with computer screens lining the hall playing past matches, the entire collection of Wrestling trophies and awards won by the team displayed and pictures galore spanning 50 years. The walls flaunted the wrestling spirit wear from the past. Glory days were revisited with the ones who knew the stories, struggles and victories best. Alumni arrived from as far away as Colorado. Coaches like Dave Wolter, Dwayne Jobst, Jeff Fink and John Poloha (’83) were pleased to see who the young men they coached became, seeing them now as grown men.

The evening proceeded with school tours, a catered dinner by Well Done Catering and a visit to the Jochum Performing Arts Room for the 50th Anniversary of Wrestling Celebration. Wrestling alumni shared their gratitude for the program as they participated as speakers during the slide show.

Lutheran West Wrestling current Coach Ressler has developed the wrestling sport by implementing the shorthorns (7-8 Grades) program in 1999 and minihorns (K-6) program in 2003. This has only proven to build a stronger, more experienced Longhorns team, now boasting a State Champion. Coach Ressler “has many memorable seasons and athletes. In 1999 he coached his first state qualifier, Rocky Jedick, in 2005 he coached the school’s first state finalist in Kenny Sanger, and in 2015 he coached the school’s first state champion in James Handwerk. His favorite season of all was in 2008 when the school had two wrestlers that placed at state: Colin Dennis who took eighth and Josh Malave who took third. In 2009 he earned his 100th dual meet victory versus rival Brooklyn.”

In addition, Dave has honored a past coach and inspiration, by establishing a college tuition scholarship in the coach’s name. Each year, the Roger Benavides Memorial Ironman Scholarship is awarded to young men and women that have participated in the program since fourth grade. Ressler hosts a corn hole tournament over Homecoming weekend that funds the scholarship in addition to donations.

Here’s what past Coach Dave Wolter took away from the event. “Dave, Many thanks for the kind invitation to be a part of this celebration of LW wrestling! Your meticulous research and solid presentation of the 50 yr span of wrestling was no small task and you pulled it off in grand fashion! Congratulations and go Longhorns! It was great to reunite with wrestlers I knew and coached as well meet others for the first time.”

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