Canby High wrestling sees memorable night
One by one they stood in the Richard R. Brown Fine Arts Center. Former Canby High wrestlers, or their family representatives, all of them state placers, stood to be recognized by several hundred sitting in the theater seats.
That's how things got rolling at the Canby High wrestling Hall of Fame induction ceremony the afternoon of Aug. 6 in Canby — state placers by year were named, recognized and brought not only nostalgia to the proceedings, but a fair amount of camaraderie as the Hall of Fame burst into existence at Canby High in that moment.
It was, said several in attendance, a special time for special people. In all, 131 men and women who had placed at the state wrestling tournament since 1948 were honored, along with several trophy teams, as men, women and families traveled from all over the United States to honor wrestling's past at Canby High School.
"I've gotten so much feedback about what an amazing evening it was," Norm Berney, former Cougar wrestler and one of a group of organizers, said. "The overall atmosphere and response was unbelievable. Our estimated guess is about 400 people were there, which I feel is a real large group for an event like this."
What made it even more memorable, according to Berney, were the wrestling supporters with no ties to Canby High School. They were there to support and celebrate the creation of the Hall of Fame.
Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland was on hand, as was DeLance Duncan, a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, were just two of a large handful of wrestling royalty who came in to support the event.
"Having people like them was such an honor," Berney said. "And there was support from people that came who didn't wrestle at all, they just wanted to support it. It was just overwhelming to me."
Canby High Athletic Director Ben Winegar was equally impressed with the afternoon's events.
"I think it's a great opportunity for us to celebrate our student athlete alumni," he said. "I honors their contributions to their school and their sport, and also reminds our wrestlers of those who came before them. Many have relatives that see parents, uncles and grandfathers up there that have set the example for them to follow."Also, for our current students athletes, it can be motivating and inspiring," Winegar added. "Our program has a rich history of success and every day at practice our student athletes can look up and see the success of those before them, realizing that with daily hard work, discipline, and dedication, their names could be amongst the legends that have come before."
NOTE: If anyone was supposed to be honored at the event, but wasn't able to make it, their packet and certificate can be picked up at the office of Canby High School Athletic Director Ben Winegar.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.