Wrestling: Jeff Dravis inducted into MWCA Wrestling Hall of Fame
The current Park Rapids assistant coach was an outstanding wrestler at the high school and collegiate levels.
BENSON – Jeff Dravis was an outstanding wrestler during his days at Staples High School, Willmar Community College and the University of Minnesota Duluth.
For his accomplishments on the mats at the high school and collegiate level, Dravis joined a group of 12 people who were inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association David Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 29.
Dravis – along with brothers Greg and Blaine – were among the athletes, coaches and contributors in the Class of 2023 to be inducted during the banquet.
“It’s a nice honor,” said Dravis. “I was kind of shocked. Going in with my other two brothers is pretty cool.”
Dravis compiled a 121-14 record while wrestling at Staples High School under his father, head coach Don Dravis. Jeff Dravis was a member of four Staples teams that captured Class A titles in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983. He won three Mid-State Conference titles, two district titles and two region titles and was the Class A runner-up in 1981 at 98 pounds, in 1982 at 105 pounds and in 1983 at 112 pounds.
“The big thing is we expected to win. We didn’t want to lose in front of our buddies,” said Jeff Dravis. “I thought it was easier wrestling on good teams. You didn’t want to disappoint your teammates. That’s how you wrestled. My dad didn’t put any pressure on us. The big thing with him was he knew how to set everybody up in the right weights and he told you what your job was. He always told us to keep it close.”
After graduating from Staples in 1983, Dravis wrestled one year at Willmar Community College before transferring to the University of Minnesota Duluth. Dravis was a three-time NAIA All-American at Duluth, wrestling at 142 pounds and placing fifth in 1986, second in 1987 and fourth in 1988 at the national tournaments.
“I thought wrestling at college was pretty easy,” said Jeff Dravis. “You didn’t worry about wins or losses. It was do the best you can.”
Dravis coached Staples-Motley’s wrestling team from 1995-2001, posting a record of 108-72 and winning three section titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999. The Cardinals placed third at the state Class A tournament in 1997 and won the consolation title in 1999. Dravis coached four individual state champions, including three in 1999.
Dravis began teaching industrial tech classes at Park Rapids in 2004 and is an assistant wrestling coach for the Panthers.