Zach Price, Johnston’s record holder for career wins in wrestling


Jordan DeRoos

Zach Price, ’18 wrestles in 2018 state wrestling.

Zach Price’s grandfather Dennis Price wrestled in at Fort Dodge High School and Simpson College. Zach’s, dad, Steve wrestled, too. Two reasons Zach started wrestling. “My dad influenced me to wrestle,” Zach said. “He’s been wrestling his whole life from being a little kid to now him being 50 years old.”

Steve, one of the high school’s assistant coaches talked more about the family origins of wrestling. “Our family has always believed that wrestling develops mental toughness, hard work, self-discipline, healthy dietary habits, self-confidence and humility,” he said. “Therefore, we have always advocated and encouraged family members to be involved in wrestling.”

Price 18′ is well known for his wrestling accomplishments landing third place in the IHSSA State Wrestling Championships in February shortly after placing first at the 2018 CIML Invitational at 132 lbs. He placed third at state as a junior (126 lbs.) and a freshman (106 lbs.) and fourth as a sophomore at 120 lbs. “Zach’s losses in the semifinals the last three years were probably his most challenging moments because he had to find a way to bounce back both physically and emotionally in order to get the next best thing – third place,” Steve said.

When he finished his career in February, he owned the school record for career wins of 180-23. His teammate Collin Hushagen ‘18 is second with 159 wins.)

Price has loved wrestling from the start. “What made me interested in wrestling was how competitive it is,” he said. “You can’t blame your teammates; it’s is all on you. Also how hard the sport is and what it teaches you.”

Coach Aaron Tecklenburg met Zach in when he was in elementary school. “I met Zach when he was in second or third grad,” Techlenburg said. “If I had to describe him in one word, it would be energetic! Zach was a talented wrestler at a very young age.”

Tecklenburg continued to watch Price’s wrestling career. “Two things happen with kids like him or any kid for that matter,” Tecklenburg said. “They can get better or they get worse. Zach has improved as a wrestler and more importantly matured as a boy and into a young man from the day I met him.”

Hushagen wrestled with Price since second grade. “We have been through a lot and we’re the only seniors of our class of 2018 to be on varsity all four years of high school and be successful with winning records,” Hushagen said. “Zach definitely has made an impact on me and my life. He has helped me to become a better person overall and showed me how to work hard and push myself to the limits.”

Next year Price will join another Johnston wrestler Henry Pohlmeyer at South Dakota State, a prominent D1 program. “They are flirting with becoming a consistent top 10 program in the nation and it’s because they are recruiting great talents like Zach to improve the program,” Tecklenburg said.

Price is excited to wrestle at SDs. “It’s a great place. Amazing coaches, teammates, many things,” he said. “There a great program. Big 12, top 15 in the country and have the #1 fan base in college wrestling.”

Teacher Dave Oldham knows Price through classes and has talked to him about wrestling. He had some advice for Price as to improving his craft. “I recommended Jujitsu because it is kinda like wrestling but instead of winning by pinning your opponent you win via submission,” Oldham said. “It something that wrestling can carry over sort of.” Jujitsu is a form of Japanese unarmed combat that involves defensive strikes and throws. Oldham believes this form of cardio will allow Price to work out and practice without the risk of gaining weight, which would make him move weight classes.

“I believe Zach Price is going to do fine once he gets out of high school because he’s going to become stronger and learn to improve his craft,” Oldham said. “Also other coaches will have ideas and introduce a new perspective than the coaches at Johnston.”

Tecklenburg agreed. “Every season/year I’ve know Zach he made improvements on his technique, his conditioning, his strength, and again, most important, his character,” Techlenburg said. “For that very reason, I see Zach being VERY successful in college.”