Who’s The BEST EVER in South Dakota High School Wrestling?
As you make your way to Rapid City and settle in for the South Dakota State Wrestling Tournament, chances are the conversation will come up. Who is THE BEST EVER in the state of South Dakota? If you dig a bit, you find that's not an easy question to answer.
I asked a co-worker, who has watched a TON of wrestling over the past 31 years. He was reluctant as heck to give his list, but I put him in the Pretzel Hold and he agreed to give his list and a few quick comments.
My source didn't know if it was fair to put him at number ten. A 4 or 5 time state champion at the lower weights.
4 or 5 time state champion, went on to wrestle at Nebraska.
5 time state champ, tougher than nails, slick as a whistle, light to middle weight wrestler throughout his career. Went on to wrestle at Nebraska.
4 time state champ. Slick, slick, slick!
Heavyweight. 4x State Champ, 4x Division 2 National Champ, currently training for the US Olympic team. Note: SD has had some great heavy weights i.e. Riley Rieff, Ryan Ressel from Miller, Van Emmrick from Salem, Pulse from Kimball, Justin Harty from Spearfish.
6 time state Champion 4 time All American at the University of Minnesota. Unbelievable.
4x State Champion, Wrestled at SDSU where he was a 2 time national Champion.
201 -0 Highschool Record Iowa State. Dominated. Probably from the best Wresting family in South Dakota history. More on that later.
Five time state champion, three time Division 1 national, Olympic medalist and he still might not be the most bad ass.
My source went on to say if you talk to Randy Lewis (see #1), who wrestled at Rapid City Stevens, he might tell you that Lincoln McIllravy was the best of all time high school wrestler.
According to South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame,
The 1977 Rapid City Stevens grad won the gold medal at 136.5 pounds in freestyle wrestling at the 1984 Olympics, outscoring his first four opponents 52-4 to advance to the final, where he crushed Japan's Kosei Akaishi 24-11 in 4:52. He was the youngest member of 1980 Olympic wrestling team but President Jimmy Carter’s boycott prevented the U.S. team from traveling to the Games in Moscow.