Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College sophomore Kale Schrader earned the National Wrestling Championship heavyweight title at the 2023 National Junior College Athletic Association National Wrestling Tournament in Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 3-4, 2023.
Schrader is a third-year sophomore from Carthage, Missouri. In high school, Schrader was a multi-sport athlete in football and wrestling.
As a junior in high school, Schrader went undefeated with a 50-0 record and earned a state championship title. In 2020, he was ranked seventh in the nation during his senior year and awarded the Sports Commission Award for Male Athlete of the Year by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Out of high school, Schrader attended Missouri Southern on a football scholarship. In 2021, he decided to transfer to NEO to continue his wrestling career under head coach Joe Renfro.
“Shrader is a great young man, and I couldn’t be prouder of his performance,” said NEO head wrestling coach Joe Renfro. “I am extremely proud of him and his ability to lead. He will make a big difference in the world, and I am grateful we had the opportunity for him to be a Golden Norsemen.”
Wrestling in the 285-pound weight class, Schrader went undefeated during the national tournament.
“The finals matches are a big stage,” said Shrader. “I knew I had already wrestled my toughest match in the semi-finals, so I focused on wrestling my match and not letting any nerves get the best of me.”
After the first hard-fought period of the championship match, the score was tied 0-0. Schrader came in with a strong second-period start earning two points. With only three seconds left in the second period, Schrader pinned his opponent Kawaun Deboe from Indian Hills Community College, earning him the national heavyweight title.
Shrader said, “I felt amazing after I won. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I expected it to be a tougher match, but when I pinned him, I was so excited. I looked up at the other NEO wrestlers who came to support, and they were all going crazy, which got me even more excited.”
A national title was always the goal for Schrader.
“We wrestle all year at really tough tournaments, so I was prepared for the competition and focused on keeping my priorities straight. My family has always been a big motivating factor. They have pushed me through all types of adversity.”
Schrader not only excels on the mat but in the classroom as well. He has already earned a degree in accounting and is working on a degree in sports management.
“Kale maintained a 3.5 GPA while attending NEO and a 3.3 overall GPA. He is a great student-athlete and a phenomenal person to be around,” said Renfro.
In addition to Schrader’s win, the team finished fourth overall and had five All-Americans and one National Runner-Up.
Kale Schrader – National Champion, 285-pound weight class
Dylan Brown – National Runner-Up, 149-pound weight class
Jackson White – 5th place, 184-pound weight class
Justice Compton – 6th place, 165-pound weight class
Richard Mack – 6th place, 157-pound weight class
For more information, please contact NEO Athletic Director Joe Renfro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-540-6950.
Group photo (left to right): Justice Compton, freshman from Frontenac, Kansas; Richard Mack, sophomore from Keithville, Louisiana; Tye Frnka, sophomore from Austin, Texas; Dylan Brown, sophomore from Cleveland, Oklahoma; Peyton Brown, sophomore from Cleveland, Oklahoma; Kale Schrader, sophomore from Carthage, Missouri; Jackson White, sophomore from Carl Junction, Missouri; Geoffrey Freeman, freshman from Parker, Colorado.