Wrestling beats fundraising goal, seeks to continue “Decade of Dominance”

Story by Riley Buerk

Clackamas Community College wrestling has dominated for the last decade, winning three national championships, three national runner finishes, finishing in the Final Four nine times, and earning seven national dual meet titles.  

Overall, the team finished the decade with a 128-14 record, producing 67 All- Americans and 12 individual national championships. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has had to cancel their usual fundraising events, and instead fundraise on social media and virtually. 

Wrestling has once again started strong, raising more than $36,000, and counting, with its Decade of Dominance fundraiser. Their goal for the fundraiser this year was set at $30,000, which head coach Josh Rhoden said via email, “was a strong one but modest in comparison to what our crab feed, tournaments, and camps have netted in the past but based on the year everyone has had we didn’t want to overextend folks or ourselves.” Overall, the team received more than 100 unique donations and had more than 20,000 interactions on social media.

The support from the Clackamas community helped the wrestling team crush its goal. Rhoden said via email, “All of the support we received from so many folks in our community and especially on our campus was humbling. We had someone from every single association on campus (part-time Faculty, full Time faculty, administrators and classified) who contributed toward us meeting, and, well, exceeding our goal! Pretty amazing stuff!” 

The team has started training, and they are currently working in smaller groups and conditioning outside on the roads, hills, and paths. Rhoden said via email, “Honestly in some ways a blessing in disguise as we usually bury these guys in work load to begin the year. However as a result of less access to facilities to workout in, guys came into training camp in much worse shape than we were prepared for. So, slow and steady is the name of the game currently. Probably best based on the current situation we are working within.”

Training during a pandemic can be a challenge, but trainer Kevin Arizo and athletic director Jim Martineau have been working many hours to figure out the best way to do so following local and state officials. For wrestling, this meant a 14-day quarantine, followed by training in groups of 10 people or less.

To stay as safe as possible, coach Rhoden said via email, “We do everything from parking in different lots, social distancing and working out outside many times with masks on to help us maintain barriers from the virus.” They are also having athletes fill out questionnaires prior to arrival on campus, and then having a staff member take their temperature once they arrive and promoting off campus precautions as well.

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Riley Buerk