April 17, 2024

THE LIST: The sauce is in the steps taken

Very few moments in life, if any, are isolated. They’re all the result of past decisions. I believe none of them are wasted.

I’ll be honest, covering state championships never gets old. We all got to witness Nodaway Valley/O-M sophomore Ashton Honnold reach the pinnacle of high school wrestling in Iowa when he became a state champion.

His match was awesome, going into overtime. In the realm of emotions one experienced watching his championship match, you can check the box that says “all of the above.” You’re not supposed to cheer as a journalist on the sideline, but I’ll admit I got pretty into the match myself.

There’s a boat load of accomplishment Honnold achieved throughout the course of this season, and so did his teammates. They accomplished a lot as a group. You can read about that in this week’s sports section in our coverage of state wrestling.

It is clear that the two losses Honnold experienced this season fueled him all the more as he chased the top spot on the medal stand at the state tournament. Again, no moment seems to have been wasted and right decisions paid off for him.

Right decisions paid off for a lot of the wrestlers this season, in fact. None of the above is to say that right decisions didn’t pay off for anyone else. I would agree with co-head wrestling coach Brad Honnold’s sentiment that Trent Warner was an “absolute beast” during the tournament. The other guys who made it represented their school really well, and all five are role models for younger guys and gals who are falling in love with the sport of wrestling, or have yet to start.

I’m a firm believer that sports isn’t everything in life, but they teach great life lessons. A lot of the activities our schools offer do teach great life lessons, in fact. They go to show that oftentimes, reaching pinnacle of whatever we’re doing may actually not be the greatest thing we ever get out of it. Instead, it may be more that the pudding is in the path, and how we’ve carried ourselves along it.

Ashton Honnold has a lot to be proud of in winning a state title, but also how he carried himself during the journey. He’s a humble, yet confident kid who reminded me a lot this week of how decisions we make now will matter later. Good lessons to live by.

Excellent job to all the state wrestlers. This has been a fun week or two in the life of our area athletes. Here’s hoping we’re not finished!

I also want to extend a big thank you to all the people who helped us capture all that happened at state wrestling, because it certainly wasn’t all my work.

Dan Dickinson, as always, was on the beat with his camera and does amazing work. He’s always in the right place at the right time. His son, Matthew, who is sports editor of the Tipton Conservative, had another kid he was following in the finals and helped us out.

Faith Hatch, daughter of former Nodaway Valley coach Doug Hatch, who since coached at Knoxville, is a sports media student at the University of Northern Iowa. You may see a few of her photos, and she was eager to help us out.

Joel Klobnak also does amazing work and supplied some amazing shots of the tournament. He has such a gifting for the things he does!

Shannon Payne of Van Meter was also matside for all the action. Her work is also top-notch. She also takes Nodaway Valley’s team photos.

I lastly have to thank my wife, Kilee, for her creativity. I called her Monday asking for a headline idea for the state tournament story that would go on the front page and the sports section. She suggested “Job Well Done,” which is a play on words for Wells Fargo Arena. I realized I had already used that for archery last year, so I modified it and went with “Finishing Well.” I still give Kilee credit for it, and for keeping things going at home even if I am on the sidelines somewhere else. I value our teamwork greatly!

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.