The Ottumwa Courier


May 2, 2013

Ottumwa native will lead Bulldog wrestling program

OTTUMWA — Ottumwa elected someone from in house to start the next chapter of the Ottumwa High wrestling program.

Jeremy Frueh, an assistant coach for the Bulldogs this past winter, was tapped to take over the reins of the program since Kevin Cochran decided to retire after five years at the helm in Ottumwa.

Frueh was surrounded by his family — his wife Ashley and their daughter Mariah, 6, and son Tayton, 4 — when his hire was announced at a news conference Thursday at Ottumwa High School. The coach, who has coached wrestling in Ottumwa for seven years, six at Evans Middle School and one at the high school, is antsy to start his new job.

"I'm just ready to get going," he said. "I'm ready to get started and get working with the kids. The kids are excited, and I think the community is pretty excited about wrestling, so we're ready to go."

Frueh, an Ottumwa native who graduated from the high school in 2000 and spent a year as an assistant coach at William Penn University in 2006, had a fine wrestling career for the Bulldogs. He qualified for state in his sophomore and senior campaigns for Ottumwa and is a former district and conference champion. The portfolio of achievements he amassed at Ottumwa alllowed him to continue his career at Mount Saint Clare College in Clinton, IA, where he was a national qualifier.   

Frueh will take over a program on the heels of one of its best seasons in recent memory — by far the best of the Cochran era. The Bulldogs went 11-11 in duals last season; which was more than they managed to win in the past four years combined. And, perhaps more importantly, Ottumwa had two wrestlers, Karsten Van Velsor and Kevin Childs, who both qualified for state.

Van Velsor, who finished 44-7 overall, made it all the way to the Class 3A state finals at 138 pounds, pullling an upset over the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class along the way; before he finally succumbed to defeat. Though both wrestlers will graduate this spring, the breadth of the team will be back next winter.

"Obviously, losing Van Velsor and Childs is big," Frueh said. "Van Velsor is just one of the best leaders I've ever been around, as a kid getting the other wrestlers up and stuff like that. But I think we have something really good to build on."

As an assistant, Frueh was tasked with many assignments usually not reserved for an assistant coach.

"Last year, Cochran did a good job of grooming me," the coach said. "He did a lot of things to prepare me for this. I did a lot of things last year that a head coach would be expected to do."

While Frueh's personality shares many of the same characteristics as Cochran — they are both wrestling junkies who share similar goals and a passion for the sport — he will make some tweaks to the program.

"The biggest change is going to be what we're doing in the summer," Frueh said. "In wrestling, it's a 12-month commitment, it's not five or six. And I think we have some kids who are starting to buy into that and once that happens I think we can be very successful."

Frueh noted that, for many Bulldogs, wrestling season never really ended.

"We have a lot of kids who haven't stopped wrestling," Frueh said.

He said he's looking at team camp this summer where the kids would get to compete in 20 to 25 dual meets. Some of the wrestlers Frueh will get to work with this coming winter include Tad Wilson, Isaiah Cox, Nathan Cary, Chase Wood, Wyatt Schlotter, Connor Mier, Scott Wilson, Jack Stabile, Collin McConnell, Alec Clark, Lucas Lunsford, Juan Aldaba, Garrett Goodwin and Justus Skinner. With Cochran's retirement and Andy Swedenhjelm, an assistant coach for last season's team, taking a coaching job elsewhere, Frueh is looking to fill two coaching positions on his staff.

Text Only
  • Southeast Iowa Fishing Report Red Haw Lake Anglers have been catching some largemouth bass along with some bluegills and crappies. Use minnows and a bobber around brush piles. Lake Sugema Very little fishing activity has been occurring but some anglers were able to catch some sma

    April 18, 2014

  • Couple makes face paint for wild turkey hunters RED WING, Minn. (AP) -- You could call it man makeup. It's a water-based skin application made from natural ingredients such as organic rooibos tea and zinc oxide. It's nonallergenic, won't clog your pores, doesn't stain clothes and provides protecti

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Sports Ottumwa girls tennis photo Ottumwa girls pick up impressive road win DES MOINES -- The Ottumwa girls tennis team soundly defeated Des Moines Lincoln 10-1 Thursday in CIML Metro Conference action. "I think in our singles match they were doing a great job of having really long rallies," said Ottumwa coach Leanna Nelson.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Flanders wins third-straight 400 for OHS URBANDALE -- Another meet and another 400-meter dash win for Ottumwa's Charlette Flanders. The Bulldog senior picked up her third-straight win in the one-lap race around the track on Thursday at Urbandale's Chuck Silvey Invitational. Flanders placed

    April 17, 2014

  • MSAE boys shut out Iowa City West IOWA CITY — The Fairfield Maharishi boys' tennis team picked up an impressive early-season shutout on Thursday, scoring a 9-0 win at Iowa City High. "From top to bottom, it was the team's best performance of the season," said MSAE head coach Steve Br

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Sports Abbie Budan photo Bulldog linksters take third in Marshalltown MARSHALLTOWN — The Ottumwa girls golf team turned in a admirable performance Thursday, capturing third out of 14 teams at the Linda Bloom Invitational with a collective score of 377 strokes. "I think we played well pretty much from top to bottom," Ot

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports boys tennis color photo Ottumwa boys tennis dominates Des Moines Lincoln OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa boys tennis team looked a lot like domination Thursday at Dan Staggs Court, as they shut out Des Moines Lincoln 11-0 in CIML Metro Conference action. "It's early in the season and I can already see our team starting to grow," Ot

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports Marcus Posley photo IHCC's Posley signs with St. Bonaventure OTTUMWA — This past basketball season was one that saw Indian Hills rewrite the record books offensively. Of all numbers that stood out this season, none are more visible then the school-record number of made 3-pointers. Though it only reflects the n

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Packwood Little League Fundraiser to be held PACKWOOD — The Packwood Little League Hog Roast Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Packwood Christian Church. Four teams with over 40 kids participate in the Packwood Little League. The fundr

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Sports Colin Pearson signs IHCC's Pearson signs with San Diego OTTUMWA — Indian Hills Community College golfer Colin Pearson is headed west to continue his education and golf career. The IHCC sophomore Wednesday signed a letter of intent with the University of San Diego. Pearson is coming off his best finish of

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

NCAA Tournament Scoreboard
Sports photo reprints