Montana Heavyweight Getting Back That Winning Feeling
Itís been five years since Montana Westernís Heavyweight wrestler Harley Fandrich stepped foot on the Mat, but on November 10th Fandrich stepped on the mat and felt the old familiar tingle of excitement course through him. Winning his first match Fandrich started to remember just how winning felt, and he felt that all the way to a 4th place finish.
Growing up in Arizona, Fandrichsí sports career started on the grid iron, that was until his high school coach told him to wrestle, so he did, and he didnít stop. He loved wrestling so much, he traded his cleats for a singlet, and he didnít stop until he was at the top. Making Team Arizona ĖNationals in his sophomore, Junior and Senior Years, and in 2007 he was the Southwest National Champion.
Graduation found Harley wrestling for Grand Canyon University, but injury early in the season ended his wrestling days, unsure of what to do next, Harley left college and started working and coaching for area junior high and high school teams.
Frandrich didnít give much thought to the possibility of collegiate wrestling again that was until the day he got a call from Coach Dan Payne. Coach Payne not only talked Fandrich into lacing up his wrestling shoes again, but moving to Montana and being part of the rebuilding of the wresting program at the University of Montana Western. Starting out the season with a club of 20 wrestlers, Fandrich is one of five wrestlers who meet at the weight room at six am for weights and then again nine hours later for practice. Frandrichís first match in five years happened at the 2012 Northwest Open in Powell Wyoming. Walking away with a 4th place finish in the Heavyweight bracket is something Fandrich feels great pride.
ďI was offered a second chance and I took it, you donít get many second changes.Ē Fandrich feels that if your given the chance to try something again, take it, work hard, and who knows what or where you can end up. Harley currently has the 8th best record of heavy weights with at least 10 matches in the NCWA rankings!