Hruska joins Creston Wrestling Hall of Fame
Wed, 11/22/2017 - 10:48am admin
CRESCO - Jerome Hruska, a 1956 graduate of Cresco High School and three-time wrestling State qualifier, was inducted into the Creston, Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame during its banquet held on Nov. 18.
About 20 people from Cresco attended the event.
Hruska placed fourth at the State Tournament at 138 pounds in 1956 at Cresco High School. He served as the Head Coach at Southwestern Community College from 1967-68 before coaching at Creston High School from 1969 to 1979. At Creston, he posted a 100-13-2 dual record and coached 38 State qualifiers, including 19 State place winners. The 1972 team won all its regular season tournaments and had seven State qualifiers.
From 1981 to 1984, he served as Co-Head Coach at Crestwood High School with Jim Sovereign. While at Crestwood, he coached two State Champions: Jeff Knutson (1982) and Chuck Martens (1982 and 1983). Crestwood placed fourth as a team at State in 1982 and third in 1983. He is currently a member of the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
Hruska said he was surprised to be selected for induction into the Creston Hall of Fame.
“I didn’t expect this at all,” Hruska said. “I’m proud to be chosen to go into the Hall of Fame. The Creston wrestling program started in 1961, so it was still a young program when I started coaching in 1969. Some people have said my assistant coaches and I helped put Creston wrestling on the map.
“I was blessed with a bunch of great kids at Creston. The kids were dedicated, they listened, they worked hard and they were successful.
“I was also blessed with great assistant coaches (at Creston). My first assistant, Rich Downing, was with me for five years. Rich was an All-American at Northwest Missouri State. During my last five years, my assistant was Greg Gruss, who was an outstanding wrestler at Greenfield High School and Drake. Later on, Greg coached at Carlisle High School. I had awesome assistant coaches.
“I started my tenure at Creston with an open house. I talked to my friend, Tom Peckham, and I asked him if he could send a couple (former) wrestlers from Iowa State to come to the open house. He sent Dan Gable and Dave Martin. The gym was packed (that night), and it stayed that way for 10 years. It was a great 10 years. We had a lot of great, supportive parents at Creston,” Hruska said.