Friday, July 31, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Muscatine Community College

This is another personal one for me.  I began wrestling as a seven year old first grader in 1992.  My first year consisted of about two months worth of practices & about four tournaments.  The next season after seeing that wrestling was something that indeed I did want to pursue my Dad enrolled me in the nearby Oskaloosa Kid's Club.   It was ran by Paul Graham. 

Paul was introduced to the sport of wrestling his freshman season by legendary Sigourney high school coach Jack Smith.  Smith thought Graham looked like he'd make a good wrestler.  Smith was right.  Graham would go on to become the Savages first Iowa high school state champion in 1967.  He'd add a second title in 1968.  

I was already a member of the Osky kid's club for about two years when I discovered that Paul had also been a standout collegiate grappler.  We had a neighbor named Rudy Votrobeck who asked me one night if I knew that Paul had wrestled in college. I told him that I didn't & he went back over to his house.  When he came back he had a yearbook from the 1969-1970 season.  He too attended Muscatine Community College (What was known then as Eastern Iowa Community College) & he knew Paul.   

At the time I didn't think much of it but what I'd give to get my hands on a copy of the annual now.  If it wasn't for Rudy & Paul, I don't think there would be any record of Muscatine Community College ever having a wrestling program. 

Paul Graham
118 lbs 

Graham took third place NJCAA All American honors in 1970. 

Post his collegiate wrestling days Graham coached for a spell at William Penn University & ran one of the most successful kids' programs in the state of Iowa that won AAU titles & placed high at the AAU's multiple times.  I am proud to say that I was a member of the Osky club for eight years.  I have a lot of great memories & a ton of stories.  Paul Graham was a great coach.   I feel honored to have had in in my life. 

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