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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? - The former father and son wrestling combination now find themselves neighbors

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Josh Stalcup and his wife Kaili are raising four children and working in the familys construction business in Burns. To be successful in a sport like wrestling, it is imperative that you are passionate about your craft. For former Estacada wrestler, and three-time state champ, Josh Stalcup, the love for the sport came immediately.

"I started wrestling in the fifth grade and I just loved it from day one," Stalcup said. "I loved playing football too, but I liked that in wrestling, all of the responsibility was on myself. I couldn't blame anyone else. I knew once I got to middle school that I wanted to go (Division I)."

Stalcup expected greatness of himself right when he started compet-

ing, but that strong will to have success on the mat also came from his father.

Stalcup's Dad, Shawn, was an assistant coach for the Estacada high school and junior high programs for more than two decades while Stalcup's uncle, Heath, was the head coach for Estacada during Josh's time as a high schooler

Even though Josh felt pressure to perform for his dad, there was nobody else he would have rather wrestled for.

"I loved wrestling for my dad," Stalcup said. "Yeah, we butted heads sometimes, but he pushed me in a way that nobody else could. He's my best friend and we have a really strong relationship."

Stalcup started his high school career off in 2004 by advancing all the way to the OSAA 3A state semifinals at 135 pounds and finishing in third place.

Most freshmen would probably be thrilled to finish third in the state in their first season of varsity competition. However, Stalcup held himself to a different standard.

"I was so pissed off when I lost," Stalcup said. "My goal coming into my high school career was to be a four-time state champ. When I lost in the semis, I felt like my chances to wrestle at the DI level became lessened. I knew that it wasn't the end of the world, but that's what it felt like to me."

But Staclup turned that anger into an even more dedicated work ethic over the next year. And in 2005, he took home the state title at 140 pounds and helped the Rangers to a second straight runner-up finish as a team.

"It took a lot of sacrifice to get where I wanted to be," Stalcup said. "I didn't have much of a social life and I was training about 50 hours per week. But it was all worth it in the end."

He took home another state title at 152 pounds his junior year in 2006, but his proudest high school accomplishment was winning a championship in his senior season.

In the 2006-07 school year, the OSAA went from four classifications to six, putting Estacada up to the 4A level.

With two state titles under his belt, Stalcup came into the season feeling pretty confident in where he was at as a wrestler. After moving up in weight divisions his first three years of school, Stalcup was able to stay at 152 pounds as a senior and was destroying his competition early in the season.

But at the Oregon Classic Tournament, Stalcup was defeated by Phoenix's Nick Amuchastegui, who won the match by a 4-2 decision.

Instead of being discouraged, Staclup used his defeat to work harder than ever before as the two wrestlers would meet again in the state championship match.

This time, however, things would go a lot different.

Although he trailed for part of the match, Stalcup battled back and pinned Amuchastegui with 10 seconds remaining in the third round to end his high school career with three state championships.

Amuchastegui went onto wrestle for four years at Stanford and had an incredibly decorated career, winning three Pac-12 championships and finishing as the NCAA runner-up in 2011 and 2012 at 174 pounds.

Being able to get that victory over Amuchastegui is something that Stalcup will carry with him for the rest of his life.

"My senior year was the best because after I lost to Nick, I worked my ass off to get better and be ready for him in the state championship," Stalcup said. "He was one of the most challenging guys I ever wrestled, so I take a lot of pride in winning that last match in high school."

Stalcup finished his incredible high school career with a record of 168-4 and was the ninth-ranked wrestler in the country in his division by Amateur Wrestling News. He had also accomplished his goal of reaching the Division I level as he accepted a scholarship to wrestle at Oregon State. Unfortunately, he never saw the mat as a member of the Beavers.

After redshirting in 2008, Stalcup practiced with the team in all of 2009, but could never crack the varsity rotation.

"I hate to say this, but I peaked in high school," Stalcup said. "Being at OSU wasn't a good fit for me. It was a whole new atmosphere and it was run like a business. I was getting $40,000 in scholarships, so I felt the pres-

sure to perform and I just didn't deliever."

When his sophomore year came to a close, Stalcup decided to transfer to Southern Oregon University. He had been with the team throughout the summer and fall of 2009. But when the regular season came, Josh was informed that, due to a problem with his credits that transferred over from OSU, he would be ineligible to compete until it was sorted out.

Since he couldn't bare the though of sitting out another season, Stalcup decided to drop out of school and entered into the ring of Mixed Martial Arts as an amateur fighter.

Even though he had no experience in MMA, Stalcup found instant success. He won all three of his fights in 2010 and then won his only fight in 2011. But after four fights, he elected to retire and became apart of something much more important.

Stalcup met his wife, Kaili, in 2010 at an MMA promotional event and the couple got married in 2011. They have a six-year old daughter (Dallas), a four-year old son (Titus) and two-

year old twin girls (Paisley and Klaira).

He knows that he could have been a lot more successful in his collegiate wrestling career. But if Stalcup could go back in time, he would't change a thing.

"I have zero regrets. If I had been a good college wrestler, I probably wouldn't have competed in MMA and wouldn't have met my wife. My family is my entire world," Stalcup said.

After retiring from MMA, the former wrestling star and his family moved to Burns where he and his dad started Stalcup Construction & Design — the two also are next-door neighbors and share a driveway.

Seeing his son be successful in wrestling is one thing. But being able to witness how his son thrives as a father and business owner has been very special for Shawn Stalcup.

"Josh has always had an amazing mentality and he uses that mentality in the way he lives his life," Shawn Stalcup said. "The way he attacks his responsibilities as a man is admirable. He works very hard in business and loves his family so well. He is just a blessing to have as a son and I'm very proud of the man that he is."

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