USA Everett Wrestling Hall Of Fame
In the year 2001 we were proud to announce the formation of the USA Everett Wrestling Hall of Fame. This was done to honor Ron Bessemer, the founding coach of the club and the original five members of the club who performed at extremely high levels on a national and international level.
It is only fitting that the Hall of Fame start out with the original five members of the team and the coach. This small but powerful group started the tradition of success that carried on for years. USA Everett was and is known far and wide as one of the premier clubs, not just in the northwest but across the nation. This success was due to the foundation that Ron created with the original group of kids.
Ron Bessemer first became involved with wrestling back in Elgin, Illinois when he turned out for his high school wrestling team as a sophomore. It was his first experience with wrestling and he managed to qualify to attend the state championships during his high school career. After high school he joined the Army for a three year tour of duty.
While in the service he was on a Army soccer team but one day he saw a freestyle tournament going on. He had never seen freestyle before and it fascinated him. It was the last tournament of the year so he did not get to wrestle then but did start the next year and wrestled for the Army team the next two years. After completing his Army duties he moved to Portland, OR where he wrestled for the Multnonuh Wrestling Club. In 1960 he placed 3rd at the AAU National Open Championships and also placed third at the Olympic Trials.
He went back to School and received his Masters degree from Illinois State University in 1965. His degree was in physical education and his first job was in Oregon where he taught for one year. After on year he was offered the opportunity to start a new wrestling program at Harper College near Chicago and he ran this program for the next six years. During that time the team was ranked as high as 4th in the nation and he had several individual national champs. Ron also officiated for freestyle on the international level in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s.
In 1974 he moved on to start a new program at Florissant Community College in St. Louis, MO and he was there for three years. Ron was chosen to coach the University World Team at the World University Championships in 1977. He served as the head Greco-Roman coach and assistant freestyle coach. He was offered the job of Athletic Director of the Everett School District in 1977 at which time he moved to Washington. Since he was a school district administrator, he was not allowed to coach in the schools. Since he wanted to stay involved with wrestling he created an informal team and started working with a few of the local kids. He officially charted the club as USA Everett in 1980. During this time Ron was also involved in officiating high school and college wrestling and officiated at the NAIA National Championships on two occasions. He also served as a coach to numerous Washington State Cadet and Junior teams at the Nationals as well as the assistant Greco-Roman coach on the 1997 USA Cadet World Team.
In 1981 the Athletic Director job was so large that they split it into two positions. Ron became the head of physical education and assistant to the AD. He continued in this capacity until 1997 at which time he became head of facilities and planning for the school district. In 2000 Ron decided it was time to retire. He and his wife Arlie moved to Mt. Olive, Illinois but wrestling is not over as Ron has already formed a new club and the saga continues. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Brian Harper wrestled for Burlington Edison High School and had a career record of 110-10. At the Washington State High School Championships he placed 2nd and 1st. During that time he also won the state Freestyle title four times and the Greco-Roman title four times. His high school GPA was 3.5 and after graduating he attended the University of Michigan. During his Michigan career he had finishes of 8th, 6th, 5th and 3rd at the Big 10 championships and was the NCAA runner-up in his weight division. He has a wife Stephanie and a son Sean. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Dan Alar wrestled for Burlington Edison High School and had a
career record of 114-7. At the Washington State High School Championships he had a 2nd and two 1st. During that time he also won the state Freestyle title and the Greco-Roman title four times each. His high school GPA was 3.5 and after graduating he attended Oregon State University and place second at the Pac-10 championships three times. His highest finish at the NCAA Championships was fourth. At the Espoir National championships in Freestyle he placed 3rd. He competed at the Espoir World Team Trials and he place 2nd in the freestyle division. At the University Freestyle Nationals he placed 6th. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Adam France wrestled for Marysville Pilchuck High School and had a career record of 103-15. At the Washington State High School Championships he had a 6th place and one championship. During that time he also won the state Freestyle title and the Greco-Roman title four times each. His high school GPA was 3.19 and after graduating he attended Simon Frasier University in British Columbia and placed third at the Canadian Greco-Roman Nationals. He finished 8th at the US Senior Open Nationals and had a Masters level GPA of 3.89 during graduate school. His wife is Catherine and he has a son named Hunter and a daughter named Emily.
Boyd Ballard wrestled for Marysville Pilchuck High School and had a career record of 118-9 while winning 4 medals at the state meet. At the Washington State High School Championships he had a 4th and a 3rd place to go along with two championships. During that time he also won the state Freestyle title and the Greco-Roman title three times each. At Cadet Nationals he placed 6th and at Junior Nationals he place 3rd and 6th. His high school GPA was 3.00 and after graduating he attended Oregon State University. Boyd earned three medals at the University Nationals in Greco-Roman, placing 3rd twice and 6th once. He placed 2nd at the US Olympic Festival on two separate occasions in Greco-Roman and took a 3rd in Freestyle. Internationally he placed 5th at a Bulgaria tournament and 2nd at a tournament in Israel. His last competition was in 1997 when he placed 5th in the US Senior Opens Greco-Roman competition. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
James Stephens wrestled for Everett High School and had a career record of 126-8 while winning 4 medals at the state meet. At the Washington State High School Championships he had a 4th and a 2nd to go along with two championships. He was also named to the Asics Dream team as a senior. During that time he also won the state Freestyle title three times and the Greco-Roman title four times. At Cadet Nationals James place 2nd in Greco-Roman and took a 3rd in Freestyle. In the Junior division at Nationals he was the champion and he also placed 4th at the Junior World Championships. In AAU competition James was a champion in Freestyle, Greco-Roman and Sombo styles. He was the runner-up as Everett Herald Athlete of the Year and was the first Youth Ambassador of Everett. After high school he attended the University of Oregon. In the Espoir division he was the National Freestyle champion and placed 6th in the world Espoir Championships. He also placed 1st at the University Nationals in Greco-Roman. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
2001 Graham Morin Award Winner
The Following pictures from the 2001 Awards Dinner. Awards presenter was Dave Gilbertson.