CENTERVILLE – Indian Hills wrestling coach Cole Spree hasn’t wasted any time in finding a building blocks for the college’s new wrestling program.
Spree this week has signed Pleasant Valley’s Eli Loyd to a letter of intent, the first name on the IHCC men’s roster for next year when wrestling is added to the athletic department. Chloe Clemons, a state champion wrestler for Cedar Rapids Jefferson in 2019, became the first recruit to sign with the new Indian Hills women’s wrestling program.
Loyd was the Class 3A state champion at 138 pounds as a junior while wrestling for Pleasant Valley High School. Coming up this February, Loyd will try to make it back-to-back state titles this winter before heading to Indian Hills where Spree sees the Spartan grappler wrestling at 149 or 157 pounds
“Signing Eli is huge,” Spree said. “He’s a great wrestler, well-known throughout the state and country and has a magnetic personality. We already have had kids reaching out that were not even on our radar before he signed. He has certainly made a lot of people curious about what we have going on at Indian Hills.”
Indian Hills earlier this fall announced the addition of men’s and women’s wrestling with the program to be based on the IHCC Centerville campus and the first meet in 2020-21.
“We want kids that want to be part of what we are establishing,” Spree explained. “Talent is obviously a huge plus, but ultimately the more buy-in we have will equal greater return.”
Clemons is also currently attending Pleasant Valley High School after competing in the first-ever girls’ high school state tournament in Waverly last January. Coached by Spree, Clemons went on to win the state title match by fall at 120 pounds.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say (signing Chloe) is huge,” Spree said. “She is a great wrestler, well-known throughout the state and country and a magnetic person. We already have had kids reaching out that were not even on our radar before she signed. Chloe has made a lot of people curious about what we have going on at Indian Hills.
“Indian Hills was an easy choice for me,” Clemons told IAwrestle. “I knew it once I stepped on campus. Talking to coach Spree clinched it for me. Academically the small classes will help me reach my peak potential and athletically coach Spree sets a high bar. There will be no settling under his direction.”
Clemons talked about what it meant to be the first commitment for Indian Hills and helping to build the program.
That is honestly a huge draw for me. Being able to build a program for future women is such an honor and responsibility,” Clemons said. “I am grateful that I don’t walk alone on that path and have a great counterpart on the men’s side (Eli Loyd) doing the same.”
Spree talked about continuing to build a roster for IHCC’s inaugural 2020-21 season.
“We just want kids that want to be part of what we are establishing,” Spree said. “Talent is obviously a huge plus, but ultimately the more buy-in we have will have greater return.”