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Chris Grow and Ryan Sullivan Receive Brad Tofteland Scholarships

Brad Tofteland was a Waukee High School graduate and former wrestler who died in a car accident in 2006. His family has established a scholarship in his memory and presented two awards at the Feb. 25 Waukee wrestling awards banquet.

Republished with permission from the Toftleland family:

Brad Tofteland was a 2000 graduate of Waukee High School. On Friday October 27, 2006 he died in a car accident in Des Moines at the age of 24. To honor his memory, a memorial has been set up to award college scholarships to Waukee wrestlers.

Here is the transcript from the presentation speech presented by Barry Tofteland at the wrestling awards banquet Februrary 25, 2013:

In case you didn't know, wrestlers are different. You can often spot a wrestler even if he hasn't wrestled for 40 years. Wrestlers have a different posture. They have a different attitude. They often demonstrate a can-do, go-get-em attitude that WILLS its way through, around or over any obstacle.

In his application, Christopher Grow wrote that wrestling requires "dedication, hard work, perseverance, and self- control." He quoted his middle school coach who said, "If you can get through four years of high school wrestling, you can get through anything."

Ryan Sullivan said, "Wrestling requires a lot of discipline with [his] grades and [his] choices."

It is true that perseverance through adversity and pain, hard work, determination, and faith will beat out strength and talent 99 times out of a hundred. Obviously, the coaching staff has worked hard to instill the principles that build a strong foundation of moral character.

So here we are at the awards banquet after another long season. Before long we will have a graduation ceremony at which there will likely be speeches filled with platitudes about achieving greatness, and moving mountains, and changing the world. This is not one of those speeches.

We will be honored and proud if you achieve amazing greatness. But what we ask, first and foremost, is that you achieve goodness. We ask that you always win with honor, that you lose with dignity and always, always compete fairly and with integrity. We are asking for goodness.

Our community puts a great deal of emphasis and prominence on the exceptional and the elite among us. We should. It is people with exceptional levels of talent and high ideals rooted in strong moral character that lead and guide the advance of civilization.

What's sometimes overlooked is that our community needs people like wrestlers. It needs people that have learned to persevere, to employ self-control and discipline, to pursue a worthy goal with tenacity and honor. It needs good people. We are asking for goodness.

Make no mistake, we are not asking for mediocrity. Always do your best. Do what is right. Do what is fair. Be an example to your friends, to your classmates, to your coworkers and your children.

Pursue greatness. Yet, always, always live with a sense of goodness.

In memory of my brother Bradley James Tofteland, it is my honor to announce the 2013 recipients of the Brad Tofteland Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $750. This year's winners are Christopher Grow and Ryan Sullivan.

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