I am extremely proud and blessed to be able to say I have been part of the legacy of Osage High School Wrestling.
I truly cherish the days I spent in the Osage wrestling room and the matches competing as a Green Devil.
The state of Iowa is still the best wrestling state in the USA in the my opinion. Despite the fact Osage last won a dual title in 2006 (I believe), last won a traditional title in 1981, when you start taking the roll call on the greatest wrestling towns in Iowa, is does not take too long before the city of Maples is mentioned.
I think the key has been the great leadership at the top between Bill Andrew, Bruce Gast and Brent Jennings (almost 40 years between them I believe).
So, when I was back home recently, I was totally disgusted and angered by the things I was hearing.
It seem some parents who have wrestlers on the current team, parents that wrestled for Coach Gast and Coach Andrew, were making it know they were going to do whatever necessary to run Coach Jennings out of town. Are you kidding me, seriously? Osage wrestling people are better than that, period.
I am writing this in sincere support of Coach Jennings. I do not know what more this man do for this town (and country - yes he did serve our country).
I have viewed Coach Jennings as an opposing coach for the past 10+ years. Osage has come into our room to practice multiple times. Osage kids have come to our club practices and every time I have been around Coach Jennings, he has been helping some wrestler get better.
In the off wrestling season, Coach Jennings has been helping out with the Iowa Wrestling Federation for years, offering multiple opportunities for all wrestlers to get better and reach their goals.
I think all you need to know is he had the opportunity to have a story book finish to his Osage wrestling coaching career. His son wins a title, he could have walked away with one of the greatest memories he could ever have, but he chose to come back to guide the Green Devils for another season.
No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, but someone that has spent literally 1000s of hours giving young people opportunities to get better in sports and in life, deserves our respect.
The Green Devil Nation stretches far and wide. The wrestling coaching tree is pretty impressive nationwide, again most of this comes from the great leadership we had at the Osage High School wrestling room, period!
So, if it is really that bad in Osage for some of you, I recommend you locate an apartment somewhere else and enroll your child there.
I believe you will come to a quick realization things are pretty good in Osage with Coach Jennings.
I further believe there are few programs in Iowa that are just going to allow fathers of wrestlers to come in the room or hired on as coaches. It is typically a toxic combination.
I hope Coach Jennings keeps coaching for as long as he desires to coach.
As a Green Devil alumni, I support Coach Jennings and hope the Green Devil Nation will continue to support him as well.
Michael R. Schwab, Probation/Parole Officer II - Water Office; Assistant Wrestling Coach at Waverly-Shell Rock High School; OHS Class of 1983.