Hall of Fame – 1995
Attending high school at Columbus St. Bons (now Scotus), John did not have an opportunity to get into wrestling because it was not offered at his school. He went to college at McCook Junior College and finished at Kearney State (UNK). Still no wrestling in the picture – too much fun going to college! Teaching and coaching at O’Neill St. Mary’s for two years he would sometimes slip over to O’Neill Public to watch the kids wrestle. Traveling to the Albion Public schools for one year he once again watched the kids “rol around” on the mat. Basketball was getting to be less and less of a challange to watch. Moving on to Wakefield where he has been “forever”, John spent more and more time hanging around the mats. He began to officiate some of the wrestle-offs and finally Lyle Trullinger told him he had better get out and do some serious officiating because there just weren’t that many in the field. He is not sure long ago this was but we think it was around the time Noah built the Ark! Officiating appeals to him because of the variety of people you meet and you are connected with some of the best athletes in the state. He recalls driving to the State Tournament just to watch the infamous Jason Dethlefs/Jeremy Eckly match. One of hes most memorable matches was Scott Rand vs Jason Merkel in the Class A district meet. No one expected Alliance to explode with so much power that year and this match between two 185 “young bulls” brought the entire stands down to the floor and the mats. Having to clear the floor before it could begin, he recalls it went to 4-2. He has enjoyed watching the many handicapped athletes move through the program and feels this is one of the few sports that can provide an avenue for them to travel with success. John is being introduced by his friend and fellow official Duane Choutka (Hall 1994).