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  • Writer's pictureMelody Lager

Clarion -Wrestling Powerhouse

Imagine - the State Wrestling Tournament was held in Clarion In 1938!! With over 80

wrestlers participating from 23 schools, and seating for 1200, this event was like

RAGBRAI in it's day - homes were opened to welcome visitors. Clarion hosted the State

Wrestling Tournament several other years.

At this first meet in Clarion, local wrestlers who hoped to continue their winning streaks

included Paul Bell, BIll Kirstein, Dean McOllough, Gerald Blackman, Merle Armour, and

Clayton Brown. Eagle Grove also had a couple of wrestlers represented, with last

names Folkedahl and Bernard. What is interesting is some of these are people who

stayed in Clarion and raised families. Now their grandchildren and other relatives attend

Clarion-Goldfield-Dows schools.

Wrestling was welcomed to town high schools in approximately 1921. In 1924, two state

champions were from Clarion: Ernest Sharp and Glenn Schutt under the guidance of

Coach James. As the years went on, wrestling continued to grow and Clarion kept

bringing home state wins. There are plenty of people who remember coach Dale Brand!

He started as coach in Clarion in 1940, and then joined the service in 1941. He returned

to Clarion in 1945 and continued the Clarion wrestling legacy for about 30 years.

Heartland Museum is proud to display the two photos that hung in the high school gym

for many years: Glenn Brand and Dale Brand.

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