APRIL 24 HOME STRETCH COLUMN — PETE TEMPLE, SPORTS EDITOR
Calling it a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, Monticello High School senior Logan McQuillen has verbally accepted a walk-on offer from the University of Iowa wrestling program.
“They brought me in on a visit, and told me they wanted me to join,” said McQuillen, who in February became Monticello’s first-ever state wrestling champion.
He was told, he said, “that they liked my style of wrestling, liked my potential, and wanted me to be part of the program.”
McQuillen had originally talked about playing football in college, perhaps at an Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference school.
That changed after Iowa contacted McQuillen, about two weeks after he won his state title, and he went on an overnight visit April 4-5 with four other wrestlers.
“I didn’t expect that they’d have that much interest in me, until I went on the visit,” McQuillen said.
McQuillen, at this writing, has made a verbal commitment, but will be asked soon to sign and make it official. He is undecided on a major.
McQuillen won four straight matches at the State Wrestling Tournament Feb. 14-16 in Des Moines, to become the Class 2A champion at 160 pounds, finishing the season with a 43-5 record.
What’s the safest, surest bet you can think of?
That it will rain this week? That one of your Facebook friends has posted something about gun control today?
How about this one: If Monticello gets a nominee for the KCRG-TV Athlete of the Week award, that nominee will win.
It happened again last week when Panther senior Kaylee Jones, a Drake Relays-qualifying sprinter on the girls track team, was nominated - and received the most votes.
By now, KCRG sports broadcaster Scott Saville could probably drive to Monticello with his eyes closed. This school year alone, Monticello has had three nominees – and three winners: Michael Melchert for cross country in the fall, Logan McQuillen after his state wrestling championship in the winter, and now Jones.
Monticello residents are good at a lot of things, and actively voting on our Athlete of the Week candidates is certainly among them.