Hall of Fame – 1999
Meet John Daake! Wrestling for Amherst High School as a heavyweight in ‘63 and ‘64 there were only two class divisions at the State Tournament. Class A, which included the larger schools, and Class B, which included all of the other schools regardless of location or size. Wrestling was just getting started in schools outside the Omaha/Lincoln area and it was catching on fast. John recalls the first state tournament he went to was in Kearney and the next year it moved to Lincoln. He remembers about a dozen young hopefuls coming out for the sport in Amherst under the direction of Coach Howard Taylor. Amherst claimed four State Champs but it wasn’t enough to take the title. After college at Kearney State (UNK) John went to Gretna High School for one semester and then entered the Army. After his service was over he was in construction for a couple of years but the hometown mat kept calling. He came back to Amherst in ‘77, just after their first State title. Under his direction they were State Champs again in ‘78. Taking a break from the coaching ranks from ‘84-’88 he came back to coaching until retirement in 1996. John had 8 State Champs and 4 runners- up. In addition to the State Team Title they took 6th and 12th. Starting the Pee Wee Program in Amherst with wrestlers coaching ,he has seen them move to a program with alums and dads at the helm. John is being introduced by his friend, Coach Darrell Barnes of Arapahoe.