SHERIDAN – The unmatched wrestling style of Sheridan High School senior Hayden Crow brought him to a 2020 state championship in the 170 pound weight class, a narrow 7-5 runner-up by decision in 2021, three all-state Awards and now the opportunity to co-compete with Iowa Western Community College.
Crow signed his national letter of intent on Wednesday to wrestle with the Reivers to achieve a lifelong goal and add his offensive counterstyle to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division I program starting this fall.
“I’ve dreamed about this since I was a little kid,” said Crow. “So to finally be able to sign my letter of intent and make it official, it’s pretty awesome.”
Bronc’s wrestling trainer Tyson Shatto met Crow 10 years ago when Shatto moved to Sheridan and always knew the senior was confident, charismatic and personable. Long-time friend and senior bronc wrestler Reese Osborne said not only could Crow make someone smile or laugh, but his work ethic was like no other. As with wrestlers, a competitor’s style is more suited to their personality, which is why Crow has had success with the “funk” style.
Shatto calls the offense in the counter-style “funny and conspicuous” and a “fanfare” style, which leads to more conspicuous profits, but also an increased risk in competition. Crow, a relatively new style of wrestling, mimicked the wrestlers he saw using technique when he was younger and developed his own unique take on the style.
The rare and unconventional nature of the “funk” style has led to failure throughout Crow’s wrestling career, but every defeat has led to improvement. And with his technique, Crow benefits from surprising his opponents to a certain extent.
“It’s unorthodox moves that some wrestlers aren’t used to,” Shatto said. “The benefit may be for this child, but it could be a disadvantage in development because you get yourself into trouble that could get you into trouble.”
Crow finished 17-2 as a junior in the 170-pound weight class in 2020, won the state championship and set a 34-3 record in the 2021 season. The senior proved authoritative on the Broncs’ score sheet. undefeated regular season 2020-21, the first program since the 1990/91 season.
Passionate about the sport, Crow always seeks to improve himself while supporting his younger brothers and the Broncs family. Shatto has seen Crow’s excitement for his teammates equal the excitement for himself after victories en route to Crow’s three All-State Honors from 2019-2021.
Just as Crow’s personality fits his wrestling style, Shatto said that Crow’s charisma and easy-going manner made him a natural leader on Sheridan’s team, as the Broncs senior class took pride in Cultural change of the program from individual to team-oriented.
Osborne was friends with Crow for 14 years and said that each senior contributed a certain quality to the overworked culture. Crow conveyed his determination and work ethic to his teammates by holding the Broncs accountable during practice and making sure they were doing the right thing.
Much like Shatto, Osborne calls Crows’ wrestling style “super unorthodox” and said it made it difficult for Crow to appear lazy on the mat at times.
“He’s going to come off the mat and I’m like, ‘Dude, did you even try it there?'” Osborne said. “And he says, ‘Yeah, I tried it there.’ And I say, “Well, you should make it look like you’re trying.”
Now Iowa Western best fits all of Crow’s contributions to a team and off the wrestling mat while he’s studying to become a chiropractor. Wrestling at the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference, the Reivers have world-class facilities and finished the 2019-20 season 9-4 in third place in a national tournament.
The 10-year program has made it into the top 10 at the national tournament for the past six years, and Crow hopes to continue that tradition with his unique style.
“I don’t think anyone in the world wrestles like me,” said Crow. “When I have such a different style, it’s good for me to bring it into one [wrestling] Room.”