Four giants in the history of Creston wrestling will be among the third class of inductees in the Creston Wrestling Hall of Fame next month.
The inductees include the late Mike Howard, a two-time state champion who was the school’s first individual champion; Jake Marlin, Creston’s and southwest Iowa’s first four-time champion; Jeff Abel, Creston’s first winner of 100 matches and a four-time state placewinner; and John Walters, a state runner-up wrestler and southwest Iowa wrestling historian who has written a book on on the subject. Walters also broadcasts the state tournament each year for KSIB Radio.
The annual banquet will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Eagles Club, 300 E. Montgomery Street in Creston. Tickets are $20 each for the event that includes happy hour (cash bar) at 4:30 p.m., steak or chicken breast dinner at 6 p.m. and Hall of Fame inductions at 6:45 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at Hulett & Son’s Auto Salvage and Carter Agency or by contacting Dannie Stephens, telephone 641-202-3385; John Walters 641-247-1984; Chuck Hulett 641-202-2262; Tami Hulett 641-202-2452, or Emmy Key 641-202-3136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Howard was Creston’s first state champ in 1973 and became a two-time champion in 1974. He was on the 1972 Creston Wrestling Hall of Fame team that placed second in the state. Howard was a national tournament qualifier for Southwestern Community College and an NJCAA regional champion for the Spartans at St. Louis, Missouri.
Abel was Creston’s and southwest Iowa’s first four-time state placewinner in wrestling, taking fifth, third, third and fourth at the state tourney. He was the school’s first winner of 100 career matches and a member of both the 1972 and 1975 Hall of Fame teams. Four times he was a district champion and he was the Corning Tournament champion three times. Wrestling for Iowa Central Community College, Abel was a two-time NJCAA national qualifier.
Marlin compiled a 204-6 high school record while becoming Creston’s and southwest Iowa’s first four-time state champion in 2013. At the time he set a state record with 148 career pins. Marlin, who was an NJCAA national runner-up for North Iowa Area Community College after transferring from the University of Iowa, was Creston’s first four-time conference champion.
Marlin also excelled on the national stage as an independent wrestler in the summers. He was a Cadet two-time All-American and junior freestyle All-American at Fargo, North Dakota.
Walters also had his own career of high achievements as a wrestler before becoming a local coach, official and historian for the sport. Walters was a sectional and district champion in 1974 and 1975 and state runner-up in 1975. He wrestled on scholarship at Morningside College in Sioux City.
Walters is a former assistant coach and head coach in Creston, still active as an official and was the inventor of a tournament scoreboard that was widely used throughout southwest Iowa before internet live scoring systems were developed. In recent years, Walters authored a book, “Creston Wrestling History, 57 years” with an updated version planned. He also continues to work part-time as a wrestling broadcaster for KSIB in Creston.
The evening will also include the sale of raffle tickets for a pair of Kansas City Royals tickets along with a night’s stay at the KC Marriott and $50 gas card, donated in memory of the late Mike King, a member of the 1972 Hall of Fame team.