Hall of Fame – 2003
John began his wrestling career in 1973 when he took 2nd place in the North Omaha Invitational Wrestling Tournament in the heavyweight division as a 7th grader. He added to that title, 1st place hwt. at the Omaha Park & Recreation Holiday Tourney and 2nd at the St. Bernadette Novice Tournament Senior when he was an 8th grader with a 1st place for R.M. Marrs Jr. H.S. in the All City Championships. Unable to wrestle on varsity teams in those days as a freshman, he did capture 2 more 1st place titles at the South Omaha Boys Club Wrestling Tournament and the St. Bernadette Tournament Sr. Div. Attending Omaha Soutoh from ’75-’79 his honors were many. He qualified for state where he took 3rd place having previously captured 1st at the Bryan Sr. High Inv., and 1st at districts. He also took 1st in the District and Midwest AAU Jr. Olympics Freestyle and was a member of the AAU Nebraska Cultural Exchange Team to Germany. His junior year he took 12 gold medals in the various tournament which also included freestyle and was named Outstanding Wrestler at the Bryan Sr. H.S. Invite. His first State Champ title came that year at heavyweight with a record of 33-0. John’s senior year boasted a record of 28-0. He took the gold at every tournament he entered that year which totaled 11 and that includes named Outstanding Wrestler at the North High Invite,Outstanding Elite Wrestler at the Midwest AAU Jr. Olympics Greco Roman and the State Crown. Not limiting his athletic abilities to just one sport John also excelled in football, track, and power lifting with an equal amount of gold medals. He played football for UNL from ’79-’84 being the team’s starting offensive left tackle in ’83-’84.John remembers his biggest thrill as being his second place title at the St. Bernadette Tournament. He recalls that he was “very sore” the day after but “profoundly proud of how hard I worked in order to take second place. I had a good day!” John is introduced by his friend and coach, Beau Haizlip Hall ’84.