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Meet the 2009 Grand Marshals

Three Grand Marshals will lead the annual Parade of Champions Saturday night (March 14) before the championship bouts of the 30th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Final Wrestling Tournament.

Named Grand Marshals for 2009 are: John Welter, Coach, Fox Lake; Matt Grimm, Coach, Chatham Glenwood; and Dave Mathews, Official, Crown Point, Indiana

The IESA started having Grand Marshals in 1996. The Grand Marshals are honored for their contributions to interscholastic wrestling and the young men who participate in the sport. They are nominated by the IESA Wrestling Advisory Committee and approved by the IESA Board of Directors. The marshals will play an integral role of the Parade of Champions as they will lead the 38 individual finalists and their coaches into the Convocation Center, amidst music, applause and cheers from teammates, parents, family, and fans.

Here is a closer look at the 2009 Grand Marshals:

John Welter

**A 1967 graduate of Fox Lake Grant High School, John Welter has had a stellar wrestling career. An all conference wrestler for four years in high school, he capped his high school career by placing 2nd in the IHSA state finals in the 133 lb. class. John received his associates degree from the College of Lake County, his bachelors degree from Northern Illinois University and his masters degree from Concordia University. He has been a physical education teacher for 30 years in the Grayslake school district. He has been inducted into the College of Lake County Sports Hall of Fame.

John�s teams from Fox Lake were very successful in the early years of the IESA state finals. His 1981 team won 1st place team honors, his 1982 team placed second, in 1995 his team again captured 1st place honors, and the following year in 1996 his team took home 4th place honors. He has coached 28 years at three different IESA schools---Fox Lake Shady Lane/Stanton; Lake Villa Avon Center; and Grayslake Jr. High School. And while he was coaching the junior high teams he some how found the time to serve as the freshman wrestling coach at Fox Lake Grant for 15 years; Grayslake High School for four years; and Lake Villa Lakes High School from 2005 until the present. A true wrestling inspiration to hundreds of students, John has a daughter Kaitlin who lives in Florida along with many brothers and sisters who share in this honor.

Matt Grimm

**Matt Grimm has been involved with the sport of wrestling as a participant, coach, or official since he was a sophomore at Springfield Lanphier High School. Matt qualified for the high school state finals his senior year at Lanphier and was a city champion, regional champion, and an alternate for the Team Illinois (freestyle) championships. Matt graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville in 1995. During his career at Illinois College, he was a two time NCAA qualifier, an NCAA All-American, team captain, and held the number 1 ranking in his senior season until an injury ended his career.

He finished college with a 102-28 record. After graduating, Matt took over the reins of the Chatham Glenwood Middle School program. From 1996-2006, Matt had 72 state qualifiers, 17 wrestlers who placed in the finals including four IESA state champions and two second place finishers. Matt served on the IESA wrestling advisory committee from 2003-2006. When Matt was the coach at Glenwood, his school hosted a regional and a sectional almost every year. Matt is now the principal at Auburn Middle School and has helped his district start a wrestling program that is now entered in the IESA state series. Matt has his wife Dacia are the parents of two children, Dresden, 4 and Danica, 1½.

Dave Mathews

**There are officials who consider officiating work and then there are the few who simply love the sport of wrestling and have been extremely successful. Dave Mathews is certainly in the latter category. With quick wit and an endless smile, Dave has enjoyed success during his entire wrestling career as a participant, as a coach, and as an official. In high school, Dave wrestled for the Hinsdale Central Red Devils where he was three year all conference selection, was a co-captain and regional champion his senior year, and finished with a 68-17 high school record. From Hinsdale Central, he continued his wrestling career at Yankton College in South Dakota where he was a four year varsity wrestler, a conference champion in 1968, a three time all conference selection, a 2 time NAIA national tournament qualifier advancing to the quarter-finals in 1969 and team captain in 1970 and 1971.

Dave has coached at Downers Grove South High School, Woodridge Jefferson Junior High School as well as Darien Eisenhower Junior High School. For the last 37 years, Dave has been an IHSA licensed official. He has worked 15 IESA state finals, 32 IHSA state regionals, 25 IHSA state sectionals, and 23 IHSA state and dual team finals. He was named the IWCOA Official of the Year in 1987 and 1999, the SICA Conference Official of the Year in 1987, is an IHSA certified clinician and current member of the IHSA Officials Advisory Committee and was inducted into the IWCOA Hall of Fame in 2000. Today, Dave is physical education and health teacher for Matteson School District #162. Whether you call him coach, teacher, ref, friend, dad or grandpa Dave is true champion for the sport of wrestling.

Past Grand Marshals
1996 Robert Gatrell, Bloomington, Former Executive Director of the IESA
1997 Bill Marquardt, Bloomington, Official & Arch Richoz, DeKalb, Coach
1998 Mike Manahan, Bloomington, Coach & Mike Pastiak, Burr Ridge, Coach
1999 Ron Karnopp, Quincy, Coach & Dave Ulstad, New Lenox, Coach
2000 Joe Pedersen, Darien, Official, Principal, & Coach
2001 Dan Farinosi, Hoffman Estates, Official & Jim Moxley, Mahomet-Seymour,Coach
2002 Jim Rankin, Clifton, Administrator and Coach & Dave Brost, New Lenox, Official
2003 John Pine, Clinton, Coach; Tony Zens, Ingleside Taveirne, Coach; Mike Wilkey, Oak Park, Official
2004 Ray Cummings, Pesotum, Official & Mike Golimowski, Morris Shabbona, Coach
2005 Bob Jahn, Bolingbrook Humphrey Coach & Dan Fulscher, Lincoln, Official
2006 Terry Milton, Clinton, Coach & Rob Porter, Mahomet-Seymour, Former IESA Champion
2007 Wayne Mooney, Joliet Gompers, Coach & Rob Russell, Sandwich, Coach
2008 Scot Kody, Inverness, Official

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