By Doug Fry

After years of endless training, all of the hard work has paid off for two Clackamas Community College wrestlers. Freshmen Kurt Mode and Colt Doyle both signed with the Division I Oregon State Beavers to continue their collegiate wrestling careers next season.

Both Mode and Doyle expressed how signing with Oregon State is a great opportunity.

“It’s been a goal of mine since I started getting serious about wrestling,” said Mode. “I was at my first Oregon State dual when I was like six or seven, so it’s a huge deal. It’s where I’ve wanted to go forever. I’ve dreamed about it since I was little.”

Doyle has always had his eyes set on wrestling at the Division I level.

“Growing up, wrestling was always the way to get stuff done,” said Doyle. “I’ve always wanted to get wrestling to pay for going to school, being a DI athlete; I just didn’t know how. Growing up, that was just like such a far goal. It means graduating with no debt. It means a lot, but at the same time everyone doesn’t think it means a lot.”

Division I wrestling will be a whole new scene, but Mode still plans to be the best on the mat.

“I’ve always set my eyes on an [NCAA] Division I title,” said Mode. “I’m one year slower than I expected, but it’s still my goal.”

Doyle also realizes what the next level entails.

“Obviously at the next level there’s tougher guys, tougher opponents, tougher workouts, tougher mindset,” said Doyle. “But your job as a wrestler is to get a degree, then kick everyone’s ass. That’s just a realistic standpoint of what a wrestler does.”

Eleventh year head coach Josh Rhoden is used to seeing talent leave Clackamas early, but he knows it means his staff is doing what they need to.

“We’re heading the direction that we expected to,” said Rhoden. “It’s something that we’ve dealt with over the last five years. In Kurt’s case, you’re losing someone after only having them for one year. Him, Colt and Chris Garcia (another guy who signed with Fresno State already) as well. It’s just kind of showing the upward trajectory where we’re hoping to continue to be.”

When measuring the success of himself and his coaching staff, Rhoden does not want to look at results, but rather the future of his wrestlers post-Clackamas.

“Our hope is always that winning is going to be a byproduct of what we do,” said Rhoden. “What I mean by that is yes it does matter, it’s athletics, it’s college athletics, it definitely does matter; but the focus for us is trying to get better every day, every week, every month and if we can stick with that we’re going to keep doing well.”

The wrestlers have had a lot of help along the way as they’ve gotten to where they are today.

“Definitely my family,” said Doyle about those that have contributed to his success. “My brother beating me up when I was little just to make me tougher now, my dad working overtime to get us money to go to camps, my mom making dinner (stupid meals that my dad wanted us to eat to be on weight), God giving me the opportunity to wrestle and be decently talented at it—enough for me to get my scholarship is pretty amazing.

“My coaches, Rhoden, high school coaches, teammates. It’s everyone that you don’t think about that adds up a small portion and makes you who you are.”

Mode, who jumped around in high school, also had a lot of support that led to being signed with the Beavers.

“Everyone in my community,” said Mode. “I went to three different high schools and everyone has been super supportive. My coaches…Rhoden has helped a lot this year.”

The wrestlers plan on taking care of business at Clackamas with similar goals this season: they both want to win their own individual national titles along with adding another team title to Clackamas Community College’s record.

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