Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Chicago State

Throughout the mid to late 1970's the Cougars of Chicago ruled District 20 in the NAIA winning team titles in 1975, 76',77',78', 79' & 80'.  They finished in eighth place at the NAIA national tournament in 1980 as well. 
Derrick Hardy
177 lbs
Hardy had a phenomenal season in 1979-1980, taking third place All American honors at the NAIA tournament & placing fourth at the NCAA Division II tournament.  He later became the head coach at Chicago State.

Frank Shepard
A two time All American for the Cougars, Shepard took fourth place at the NCAA Division II championships in 1984 & seventh place at the NAIA championships in 1986.

Reggie Wilson
177, 190 lbs
Without a doubt, the best wrestler in Chicago State history is Bloom Trail High school native Reggie Wilson.  As a senior in high school he took second in the Illinois state championships with a 30-2 record.   He then wrestled at Triton College where he not only won two NJCAA championships going 85-0, he also became the first black wrestler to ever win the outstanding wrestler of the tournament award twice.  He then went to Oklahoma State & took runner-up honors at the 1986 BIG XII wrestling tournament, placing sixth at the NCAA's.  Facing eligibility issues based on transfer rulings, as well as being homesick, Wilson found himself at Chicago State.   He placed second at the Midlands championships, winning a Midwest Regional title.  He would once again place sixth at the NCAA championships ending his career with a 97-20 record.   We unfortunately lost Wilson back in 2014.
Melvin Bland
126 lbs 
When Melvin Bland took third place honors at the NAIA championships in 1974, he not only became the first Cougar wrestler to earn All American status, he because the first athlete period to earn All American honors.  He taught & coached in the Chicago area.

Chandler Mackey
Mackey was a two time All American for the Cougars taking fourth place at the both the 1979 & 1980 NAIA championships.

Lionel Keys
158 lbs
A standout for Harlan High School, Keys took third at the 1984 NAIA championships.

Gil Journey
158 lbs
An Indiana native where he finished third, second, second for Perry Meridian high school, Journey qualified twice for the NCAA Division I championships in 1995 & 1998. 

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