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NW Boomer And Fortune

As In Tyrell Fortune From Oregon.

via Grand Canyon College

Arizona Air Time via Grand Canyon College

Misinformed sports fans complain about July.

No NBA, just the draft and Summer League.

No NFL, just bad news and more bad news about players and guns.

Major League Baseball might work since it’s the All-Star Game, but not with a list of players violating drug policy waiting for suspensions to come down.

It’s enough to make a baby boomer watch home improvement and cooking shows with his wife.

What’s a sports fan to do?

Latch onto the rocket that is Tyrell Fortune. He’s going where many fans fear to tread.

But first, some background:

I first saw Mr. Fortune when he was a high school freshman wrestling in a local tournament. He’d just won his match in high flying style, but one of his opponent’s teammates didn’t like it.

In a situation that might fly out of control in other sports, Tyrell used good sportsmanship to calm things down instead of escalate. He took his victory to the stands instead of looking for an argument.

I got a better look at him his sophomore year when he beat my son in the semi-finals match of the 2006 OSAA state wrestling tournament.

The next two seasons I saw him at different tournaments and he was always fun to watch. He wrestled and beat the guys I knew and did it the right way.

He joined Clackamas Community College Wrestling and head coach Josh Rhoden after high school, winning a national JC title, before winning a Divisioin II title this year at Grand Canyon College.

It’s what does Mr. Fortune do in the off-season, like July, that defines him? Wrestling is a winter sport. Everyone knows that. It comes in with basketball.

Except some wrestlers make time to compete in big tournaments.

As a high school student, he went to Fargo, South Dakota for the Junior National Championships in freestyle and Greco. From

“Tyrell Fortune joined Isaac as a six-time champion and was most recently the runner-up at the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials. He was the 2013 NCAA Division II heavyweight champion for Grand Canyon University in Arizona.”

From high school summers to college summers, Tyrell has been one busy athlete.

From “KAZAN, Russia – Fortune was fifth in Greco-Roman at the World University Games today, and won a bronze in freestyle earlier in the week. Fortune was an NCAA Div. II champion for Grand Canyon this year, and was selected as the Div. II Wrestler of the Year. He was second in men’s freestyle at the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials.”

This is a man who understands that there’s someone, somewhere, working hard to get better, and he’s keeping up with them. After competing against the best of the best in the world, in Greco-Roman that means Eastern Europe, he knows what it will take to climb those podium steps for the gold.

From Coach Rhoden interview:

How has recruiting changed since Tyrell?

The addition of Tyrell has made Clackamas Community College more visible across the country to the wrestling community.  He is a game changer for us and a great example of what we are trying to do here…change young men’s lives with the sport of wrestling.

Who is the next Tyrell?

For us at Clackamas…I would say we have a couple of young men coming up who we are excited to work with but Tyrell is pretty unreal.  6 time HS National Champion in Fargo, ND and an 8 time All-American there!  Pretty incredible.

Where is Tyrell headed next? In five years?

Well for Tyrell I would say he continues training for international events and eventually the Olympic team in 2016.  He is close to making the team as evidenced by the World Team Trials this year where he made the finals.

Plus he was a Bronze medalist at the University World Games in Freestyle back in Russia where his weight class included the world #1 ranked wrestler.  He also wrestled the #6 wrestler in the world and lost only 7-5. 

This was really his 1st Senior level experience.  Pretty awesome for a 1st timer.

During these hot, dead sports days of summer, find someone to cheer for. Portland baby boomers should find their own Fortune to spread around other sports to see what’s really missing.

And when the benefits of wrestling for young men sinks in, dial up Restore College Wrestling in Oregon to be shocked. Then jump over to see what’s happening at Save Oregon Wrestling. These two websites are manned by wrestling fans, sports fans, on a mission.

Make it your mission, too.

(posted on

About David Gillaspie
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