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Dear Edwardsville Wrestling friends and family,

It is with great sadness that we include a section in this newsletter about the passing of Brent Leh (1986 - 2018).  Brent was an Edwardsville Wrestling Alumni having wrestled at Edwardsville High School 2000-2004.  He came back as an Alumni Volunteer and also coached at Liberty Middle School and the Edwardsville Wrestling Club. 

As a Wrestler, Brent uniquely combined leadership with passion for the sport.   Brent was a late bloomer that Coach Wagner recruited off his freshman football team.  He increasingly continued to strive, being a sectional qualifier - one match away from state as a Senior. Brent combined speed and strength. His late start in the sport helped to develop his passion to continue through coaching young wresters in Edwardsville. 

As a Coach, Brent was so good with our wrestlers.  He was so kind and patient when he was working with our kids.  He will truly be missed.  Please read the section below to learn more about our amazing coach and friend, Brent Leh, and find details about the Memorial Service planned for Sunday, October 14th.

Our deepest condolences to all of Brent's family and friends,
Jon Wagner and Pat McNamara

Welcome to the second Edwardsville Wrestling Newsletter! 
Through On The Mat, we hope to keep you informed and up to date with the latest Edwardsville Wrestling  news and information.  Hear directly from our coaches in the Coaches Corner, and get up close and personal with our wrestlers in Wrestler Spotlight!  We are especially excited to reconnect with our alumni in Where are they now? 

Help us make this the one email you can't wait to open!  Send us your ideas or questions for our Coaches or Wrestlers. Contact us at: Help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to other Edwardsville Wresting Friends and Alumni. They can subscribe at the bottom of the newsletter. This month we have a video that was put together by Tom Zupanci our Booster Club President.  Tom did an outstanding job with this video.  Please take a look and see what Edwardsville Wrestling Club is doing for kids in our community.     Thank you for your continued support!

See you on the mat,
Jon Wagner, EHS Head Coach                 
Pat McNamara, EWC Head Coach              
Tom Zupanci, EWC Booster Club President  
Sean Mead, Liberty Head Coach                      
AJ Ciccarelli, Lincoln Head Coach


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November 17th, 2018
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EWC Tournament Schedule
EHS Competition Schedule
Liberty Competition Schedule
Lincoln Competition Schedule

BRENT LEH   1986 - 2018
On Saturday, October 5, 2018, Edwardsville Wrestling lost a vibrant member of our family, Dr. Brent Leh.  Brent graduated from Edwardsville High School in 2004.  While there he wrestled varsity for 3 years and was captain of the Tiger Wrestling team his senior year.  Brent went on to earn his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, with honors, from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2012.  He immediately joined the staff at Hawthorne Animal Hospital where many of us were privileged to have him care for our beloved pets.  Brent was full of passion and joy as can be evidenced by talking to anyone who spent time, no matter how short, with him.  Brent’s passion and joy for wrestling could be seen in recent years as he volunteered as a coach at both Liberty Middle School and Edwardsville Wrestling Club.  Brent’s obituary states “His infectious smile won over the hearts of everyone he met.  If he knew you, he loved you.  In true Brent fashion, five lives have been saved through his gift of organ donation."  Edwardsville Wrestling has been blessed to call Brent Leh one of our own.   
A Memorial Service will  be held at noon on Sunday, October 14th, followed by a Celebration of Life until 5:00 p.m. at the Jon Davis Wrestling Center at Edwardsville High School.  Memorials can be made to Hawthorne Animal Hospital Angel Fund, the Edwardsville Wrestling Club or Mid America Transplant.  In lieu of flowers please consider donating pet supply needs to Metro-East Humane Society and Partners for Pets.
WHY WRESTLE?   Edwardsville Wrestling Club

On The Mat with Head High School Coach Jon Wagner:
Exciting time as always – Wrestling Season is a month away. The High School team has been working hard during pre – season getting ready for what could be a great campaign. Several Football/Wrestlers are having a great season on the field, and we will all be meeting soon on the mats.

As excited as we are to get the season started, I am writing this with a heavy heart, as we have unfortunately lost one of our former Tiger wrestlers way to soon. 2004 Grad - Brent Leh has moved up to the heavens. Although way too early, I  will remember Brent for all he has done for our wrestling program, and all the great times we have shared on the mat. Brent was truly a great person and teammate to all.

This season will bring a couple twists, as our schedule will include a dual vs. CBC of St. Louis (state champs). This will be held Friday – January 11th at the Jon Davis Center. It will be “Beauty and the Beast”. So we are excited to include both Dance and Cheer teams.

Also new this year will be a Dec. 29th dual vs. O’fallon. This will be Alumni Night and we would love to have 50-75 Alumni in for this. It’s over the Holidays for the first time. There will be a social afterward at the Edwardsville Gun Club. Please share with Alumni.

Tiger Junior Luke Odom has just signed to attend the University of Illinois upon graduation, and join Senior Noah Surtin who will be going to Mizzou next season. These two join Matt Kent who wrestles for Grandview University and Rafael Roman who wrestles for North Central College.

“Battle of the Bones” Chicken Wing contest and fundraiser will go down November 15th. The wrestlers will try to defend the bragging rights vs. the Girls Soccer Team, once again. 

It’s an exciting time of year, let’s get ready for a great year. Hope to see everybody get involved in the great sport of “Wrestling”.      

On The Mat with EWC Coach Pat McNamara:  
This is an important newsletter for EWC.  Please make sure to click on the links for the schedules and all of the upcoming events.  The season is fast approaching and we are working hard to prepare for another great season of wrestling.  I wanted to inform all of you of some changes that have recently happened here with our staff.  Shelly Marino our Administrative Assistant has decided to move on to another job.  Shelly did an outstanding job here at EWC for the past three years and she will definitely be missed.   With the absence of Shelly we have hired Chris Jordan to take over this important role.  Many of you know Chris from his days at Lincoln Middle School as an outstanding coach.  Well now he is going to be joining me here at EWC.  Chris just started this month and is doing a great job.  Chris has always been very good at administrative duties and I know he is going to do a lot to help our program get to the next level.  

Right now we are over a month in to our preseason program.  We have about 45 kids up here wrestling on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-7:30.  All of our wrestlers are working hard to improve their skills for the upcoming season.  

We have just completed our two open houses and we have a great group of wrestlers signed-up for our program again this year.  If you were not able to make it to one of our open houses please feel free to come up on any Tuesday and Thursday in the month of October to learn more about our program.  If you have already wrestled for EWC but have not had a chance to sign-up for the program please click here to get registered.  Please spread the word to any future wrestlers out there.

Later this month we will also be hosting The FCA 24 Hours with God Camp on October 19th and 20th and then on Halloween night we will be walking in the Edwardsville Halloween Parade.  The Parade theme this year is the history of Illinois.  Our float will be centered around Abraham Lincoln who was a former wrestler believe it or not.  So we have a busy month ahead.  November 5th will be our first practice for EWC.  I hope all of you can come out and support our program in our Annual 5K/ Fun Run on November 17.  This is our major fundraiser for EWC.  We are still looking for sponsors for the race so if you know of anyone that may be willing to sponsor the race or run in the race please pass on this information.  Please click the link above for more information.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions or anything to add to our newsletter.

Pat McNamara
Here is a picture of our 6-14 year old preseason practice group.  They are working hard for the upcoming season.  We also have a picture of our High School wrestlers that provided community service picking up hay bails at the Rotary Criterium Bike Race.
Rosie is one of 12 female wrestlers in EWC.  She is 13 years old and has been wrestling for 8 years.
OTM:  What got you into wrestling?
Rosie: It runs in the family, my dad used to wrestle and so did my brother. Now my dad is a wrestling coach. 
OTM:  What is it like being a female wrestler?
Rosie: It's really not that much different from being a male wrestler, except some people question why I do it. I tell them that I do it because I want to, it's something I love.

OTM:  What advice do you have for other girls that might be thinking about participating in wrestling?
Rosie: If you really want to then do it, don't let anyone tell you that you can't because you're a girl.
OTM:  You have been wrestling a long time for EWC.  What is your favorite memory?
Rosie: I have a lot of great memories but one of my favorite ones would have to be when I got the 2012-2013 MVP award. 
OTM:  Who is your biggest fan?
Rosie: My biggest fan would have to be my dad, he has always supported me ever since I started wrestling.

Luke Odom is a Junior this year for Edwardsville High School.  Luke has placed 3rd at the High school State Tournament the past two seasons for Edwardsville High School.  This summer he placed 3rd at the Freestyle Cadet National Championships and 5th in the Greco Cadet National Championships.  He recently has just committed to wrestle at the University of Illinois.
OTM:  You have had an amazing career here at Edwardsville High School So far.  How have you been able to accomplish so much so quickly?
Luke:  By hard work and my love for the sport.  It drives me to keep having success at the highest level.
OTM:  You have recently verbally committed to the University of Illinois.  What were the main reasons for that decision?
Luke:  I like their wrestling and academic programs.  The coaches are awesome and I think we are going to do big things in this program.
OTM:  It looks like the 2018-2019 Edwardsville Tigers could be a very special team this year.  How do you think this team is going to reach its potential?
Luke:  With good leadership and by putting in the work in and out of the practice room. Also, sticking together as a team is very important.
OTM:  What advice would you like to give our young wrestlers that are currently trying to become the next Luke Odom?
My advice would be to have fun and work hard at the sport every chance you get.  Hard work produces success and there is nothing more fun than winning!
OTM:  What's your favorite food during the wrestling season?  Off season?
I would have to say that during the season shrimp is probably my favorite.  I eat a lot of shrimp for my protein during the season.  During the off season I love to eat Pasta or Crab Legs.
OTMWho is your favorite athlete?
Luke:   Kyle Snyder is my favorite athlete because he works extremely hard and has success at the highest level of wrestling.
See you ON THE MAT
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