Why I Love Sports: How wrestling turned into a career
Editor's Note: Ron Good, editor of the Amateur Wrestling News Magazine, shares his love for sports and how one sport shaped his life. He also is the third John Marshall wrestler to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (2016) after Wayne Baughman (1982) and Wayne Wells (1982).
Why I love Sports
When I was 16, I went out for wrestling at Oklahoma City John Marshall High School. I was a skinny junior with some athletic ability and much daring, for our school was on the cusp of winning back-to-back state championships under legendary coach Virgil Milliron.
Because of wrestling's popularity and success, close to 50 boys joined the team that year, but it didn't take long for coach Milliron to run most of them off.
Practices were brutal, and those boys already established as starters and second-stringers pounded us newcomers mercilessly. But I stayed. I was a 115-pounder and roughed up daily by the likes of Bryan Rice, Mike McAdams, Dickie Haxel and Joe Wilkerson in the lighter weights.
Our 136-pounder in 1963 was none other than Wayne Wells, who would go on to win a gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
That 1963 team was not only the best in the state, but later written up as one of the greatest high school wrestling teams ever assembled. Four boys went on to star at the University of Oklahoma: Wells, Rice, Haxel and John Eagleston. The McAdams brothers – Mike and Russ – became college all-Americans at Brigham Young University. These guys were my heroes.
Although I never reached stardom on the mat, my passion for the sport did pay off later as I landed my dream job, becoming editor of Amateur Wrestling News magazine. I feel extremely fortunate to have spent the past 40 years covering the sport I love.