Hamilton wrestling celebrates 50th anniversary
What a night it was for supporters of the Hamilton wrestling program on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
“I know my dad (Bob, a former Hamilton coach) is as thrilled as I am to see so many wrestlers from the past here tonight,” said current Hamilton coach and former wrestler Gregg Stoel, the only two-time individual state champion for the Hawkeyes.
Those wrestlers were back to celebrate the program’s 50th anniversary. And the current squad made sure to do its part, beating Unity Christian 51-19 before upending Wyoming 63-12 in OK Green action.
Double winners for Hamilton were Jacob Kaylor, Andrew DellaVecchia, Noah Mireles, Kyle Parkhurst, Owen Cole, Sergio Moren, Isaac Oonk, and Eddie Soerens.
“All the guys wrestled well,” Gregg Stoel said.
The Stoel family has become synonymous with Hamilton wrestling. Bob Stoel guided the program for its first 27 years and, after one year when Curt Chrencik coached the Hawkeyes, Gregg Stoel has guided the team for the past 22 campaigns.
Bob Stoel admitted he really didn’t know much about wrestling when the 1969-70 season opened.
“I was a lot like the kids who wrestled,” he said. “We all learned together.”
After its two wins on Dec. 12, the Hawkeyes’ all-time record stood at 826-364-7. As a tandem, the Stoels are 806-359-7.
On the mat, Gregg Stoel has accounted for half of the four individual state titles for Hamilton. Andy Cook and Mike Oetman each have one.
Cook was among the alumni who attended the 50th anniversary match. The others were: Ryan Eding, Todd Stoel, Deven Friday, Danny Boerman, Matt Blood, Trevor Blood, Chris DeBoer, Jeff DeBoer, Al VanDenBeldt, Bryan Cogar, Jacob Sterenberg, Logan Welcher, Kirk Boerman, Mike Ratkowski, Michael Schaeppe, Phil Boerman, Drew Boerman, Cam Perkins, Duane Kamps, Brandt Welder, Dan Heasley, Don Dubbink, Tom Nolan and Dave Klingenberg, BJ Nykamp, Bill Engelsman, Brent Lugten, Will Duimstra, Harvey Overbeek, Troy Knapp, Tate Knapp, Joel Eding, Shane Bosma, Blaine Rockhold, Jon Eding, Scott Nykamp, Ken Beyer, Rick Klingenberg, Tim Klingenberg, Tom Klingenberg and Brian Rockhold.
“It was great to see so many alumni who either wrestled for my dad or for me,” Gregg Stoel said.
“It was our way of saying thanks to Gregg and to his father for starting the wrestling program at Hamilton,” said Joel Eding, one of 41 wrestlers from Hamilton to notch more than 100 career victories.
Shawn Pitsch, who graduated from Hamilton in 2007, stands atop career list with 207 victories. Brandt Welcher is second with 193 wins. Cook (181), Corey Schrotenboer (164), Michael Heasley (163), Collin Welcher (159), Trenton Holyfield (147), Darrin VandenBerg (139), Nate Darling (138) and Joel and Jon Eding (137 each) round out the top 10.
“It’s an honor to be on that list,” said Schrotenboer.