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Thread: Excel Wrestling's Junior Olympic Program impacts Iowa

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    Default Excel Wrestling's Junior Olympic Program impacts Iowa

    Excel Wrestling's Junior Olympic Program impacts Iowa


    Recently, Excel Wrestling has established solid ground with the development of their newest US Junior Olympic Program located in Central Iowa. The program is run in Dallas Center and serves the Greater Des Moines Area and many surrounding communities. It is the most recent of five Team Excel Year Round Junior Olympic Programs established. Others run in Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri and Wisconsin.

    Heading up the program and recently returning to Iowa is Steve Knight. Knight competed as a prep wrestler for Clinton High School winning two Iowa HS State Championships and three Junior National Championships. As a family, Steve and his brothers Mike, Jeff and Dan won a total of seven Iowa HS State titles, with eight finals appearances. Steve?s younger brother Dan, a 4 x undefeated Iowa state champion and ISU All American coaches at Bettendorf High School.

    Steve Knight went on to Iowa State where he was a Big 8 Champion and NCAA All American. Working as an assistant coach at Iowa State, he continued to compete on the US Senior freestyle level. He won the ?92 Pan American Championships and represented the US 14 times in international competition. Prior to his recent move back to Iowa, Knight spent many years in Colorado. Along with coaching his Excel wrestlers, he also worked with senior level athletes at the US Olympic Training Center as a member of the US Nationals Teams Coaching staff.

    ?It?s good to be back in Iowa. We?re real happy in Urbandale and the kids love it here, so I can?t complain. I?m pleased with the Iowa Excel program and what we?ve been able to accomplish so far. High School coaches have really supported the program and Eric Voelker has been a great partner to coach with. After so many years, it?s been a lot of fun to work together again?, said Knight.

    Eric Voelker was recently inducted into the Iowa High School Wrestling Hall of Fame and has contributed to the Iowa wrestling community for years. He was a 2 x NCAA Champion for Iowa State and a 3 x All American. He and Steve Knight were teammates in college.

    Knight and Voelker find themselves in the middle of their fall program right now for Excel in Dallas Center. There are currently 40 wrestlers on their roster, several who were place finishers from the high school state championships last years and several others who went on to compete at the 2007 Fargo Cadet and Junior Nationals Championships.

    ?It?s important to us to make a difference in their lives, first and foremost. But at the same time, we work to improve their skills and style so they?ll be better prepared for college wrestling. We emphasize the academic side of things, so they?re working hard now to have the kind of High school GPA they?ll need to attend a top level college,? said Knight.

    Over the past 10 years in Colorado, Excel wrestlers have seen much success and the program hopes to gain momentum in Iowa.

    The Excel Wrestling program in Colorado has sent wrestlers on to Lehigh University, Cornell University, Air Force Academy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, University of Nebraska, Oregon State, University of Wyoming, Iowa State, and several of the small colleges in Iowa, including Coe College, Cornell College, Wartburg College, the University of Dubuque and Luther College.

    ?I hope we can help our Iowa Excel guys get to a point that they?re ready to wrestle in college and Steve and I know the value of this experience, said Voelker.

    For more information on the Excel Wrestling Junior Olympic Program, please see www.excelwrestling.com. You can contact Excel Wrestling in Iowa at 515-331-4419.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Excel Wrestling's Junior Olympic Program impacts Iowa

    Colorado has been very lucky to have had Knight as a coach! Some of our best guys have come out of Excel. (Tyler Graff, Danny and Tom Clum)

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