Family of Champions


Colin Killian, Sports Writer

The Lakeland Hawks wrestling team has had some dominant players go through, but no person has been more dominant than the Edelblute family. It started off with Robbie Edelblute who wrestled from 1986-1989. He then went to wrestle at North Idaho College. After that, he went back to coach at Lakeland and coached for 22 years, and then retired after the 2021 season. While he was coaching, his three nephews would wrestle for him and leave a huge impact on Lakeland wrestling.

The oldest is Willy. He is a three-time state placer, and he won state his junior and senior years at 113 and 126. Once Willy received an offer from Utah Valley University, where he decided to continue his athletic and academic career at. 

Willy is in his fourth year of collegiate wrestling and is wrestling at 125 pounds. and college education. 

He just finished his Bachelors in Business Management with a minor in Economics. Willy would like to thank Mr. Keating for his interest in economics. Willy is to graduate this semester and then be accepted into the master’s program. 

His athletic goal is to recover from his shoulder injury and make it back into the starting lineup and hopefully become an All-American next year.

The middle child of the family is Sam. Sam was a four-time state player falling short of being a four-time state champion, after being the runner-up his freshman year.

Sam is studying Business Management with a minor in computer science.

 Sam is wrestling at 149 pounds and has big goals for this season. He hopes to make some damage at the Big 12’s championships then hopefully make it to the NCAA championships

The baby of the family is Alex. Alex is a three-time state placer including a state title his freshman year and being runner up his sophomore and senior year. 

Right before Alex’s junior year, he found out he tore his meniscus and missed the whole season. 

During his senior year, Alex signed to wrestle at Eastern Oregon University. During practices Alex could feel that there was something wrong with his knee again, after multiple visits with the doctor, the news was not good.

After high school, I still had knee issues, and it was discovered that my infrapatellar fat pad was also torn to shreds, and I had to have a second surgery to repair it,” Alex said. “However, we found out this was torn the same time my meniscus was, so there was some damage that was permanent, and some of the pain couldn’t go away. I discovered the more I wrestled, the worse it felt, so I decided recently to throw in the towel for the time being. And to focus on a better and full rehabilitation through it to hopefully fully recover.”

Riley Sigford, a three-time state placer and state champion was always a partner with at least one of the Edelblutes.

“My freshman year Willy was my main partner. He was the best leader of the group and he coached me and talked me through certain moves. I only remember scoring one point on him at practice. My sophomore year I trained with Sam. Sam was the most athletic but he wasn’t as much of a leader, as he was there to wrestle. I never scored a point on him. My junior year Alex became my partner. He was the most funky wrestler who took it easy at practice but still managed to pull off big wins in matches. Alex and I battled in live matches against each other and he was 12 pounds smaller than me. All in all I would not have been the wrestler I was without training with and learning from each of the Edelblute brothers.”

Another friend of the Edelblutes was Lakeland Legend Larry Johnson. Johnson was a three-time state champion and one match away from being Lakeland’s first four-timer when he lost in the finals of his senior year.

“If you were an Edelblute you had no choice, you were going to wrestle and you were going to be good. They all had great talent/success/work ethic and they were all pretty damn competitive, especially towards each other. I was a bit bigger then them all throughout high school so I didn’t get much time into wrestling with them but through knowing them and being surrounding by them many years for tournaments those were the most things that stood out.”