Reimers gives credit where its due
Just how can Joseph Reimers’ position in Aquinas wrestling history be defined?
In terms of gold medals, he stands alone. Reimers’ win Saturday in the 182-pound championship match made it three in a row and two straight unbeaten seasons.
He’s won more than 100 consecutive matches since he last tasted defeat as a sophomore.
In the 36 seasons since Tim Stara won the first Monarch state gold medal, no one in the program has been to the top of a state tournament podium more than twice. Thus, in that regard, he has no equal.
But also, consider that Reimers became the first Nebraska wrestler in history to record over 1,000 takedowns while also breaking the single-season mark this year, and it becomes less a question about placement as a Monarch and more about legacy throughout all classes of Nebraska wrestling.
Ask him how he would define his career though, and he’ll defer to others on passing judgment.
Best ever, in the conversation or best in school history has never been a measurement for how Reimers defines his own success. He sees it simply as taking advantage of the tools he’s been given.
“It feels great because not a lot of people see the work behind the scenes,” he said Saturday, moments after stepping off the mat. “Moments like this let you know it’s worth it. This means more to me and my parents than anybody else.”
Reimers’ most recent title capped a 46-0 season in which he was never seriously threatened by any opponent. Only one match all year went to a decision, and that was a 19-13 victory he led 14-8 before his opponent managed a few takedowns of his own.
Eighteen other wins came before the third period. Nineteen of his 21 technical falls included a winning total of at least 25 points.
Every time out, he was like a cat toying with a mouse, keeping it within reach while allowing it to scramble away just before drawing it back.
In his most recent championship match, Reimers won 14-2 after setting the tone early and leading 7-1 after the first two minutes.
Other state wins included a 23-8 final in round one that took just 2:50 off the clock, a 19-4 quarterfinal win that came in the third period and a semifinal victory he led 10-3 before converting his opponent’s decision to start the second on bottom to a quick turn and a pin.
It’s all been so easy, what keeps bringing him back?
“I know I’m not where I want to be. I don’t want to be this good forever. It’s great but, I just want to keep getting better for the collegiate level,” he said, referencing his commitment to Nebraska-Kearney wrestling.
“Of course I wanted to finish my senior season strong, but preparing for Kearney and Division II, I know it’s a big jump. I know how much better I need to get.”
Constant improvement then, is a necessity. But so too is fulfilling what he believes is a gift from his creator.
After Reimers won his third straight title, and the referee raised his hand while spinning him around for the crowd, Reimers raised his other hand and pointed to the sky.
“I’m just thanking God for this ability. I know I’ve been blessed with this gift,” he said. “I’ve got to give credit to where it’s due.”
“You definitely don’t want to waste your abilities. When I’ve been blessed with a gift like this, and I love doing it, that’s what’s great about it. When you’re working hard and having fun doing it, what’s better than that?”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net