And it pays for his college education

by: JOHN DENNY - Proud family members were on hand at Oregon City High School on May 15 as Kyle Sether announced his decision to accept a full-ride scholarship to wrestle for one of the top collegiate wrestling programs in the country, Notre Dame College of Ohio. Pictured are: (seated) Oregon City wrestling coach Roger Rolen and Kyle; and (back, from left) parents Tim and Traci Sether, sister Kelsey, and grandparents Don and Sue Sether.Through perseverance — a never-say-die attitude, hard work, and relentless pursuit of a dream — senior Kyle Sether graduates from Oregon City High School as one of the most accomplished wrestlers in school history.

Over his high school career, Sether qualified for the state high school collegiate tournament all four years, winning state titles in 2011 and 2013, placing third at state in 2012, and compiling a career win-loss record of 160-20.

Wrestling at 103 as a freshman and at 126 as a senior, Sether is first on Oregon City High School’s all-time takedown list, with 316 takedowns during his high school collegiate career. His sophomore year he was an Oregon triple crown winner. His senior year he compiled an overall record of 48-2, including a perfect 45-0 record against opponents from Oregon. And during the past season he did not give up an offensive point to any opponent, anywhere.

Sether helped Oregon City’s team place second at state this year, dominating all of his state-tournament opponents en route to his title. It’s the highest placing at state ever by an Oregon City High School wrestling team.

Sether committed to wrestling for Notre Dame College of Ohio during a signing ceremony before supportive coaches, students, athletes and family, held earlier this month in the high school gymnasium.

Notre Dame is one of the top NCAA Division II wrestling programs in the country. The Notre Dame Falcons were NAIA national champions in 2010 and 2011, and they placed third at the NCAA Division II level this past season, after being ranked the No. 1 D-II program in the country.

A 3.85 student at Oregon City, Sether plans a business major, with a goal of following in his father Tim Sether’s footsteps. After redshirting his freshman year, Sether will wrestle four years for the Falcons. And his education will be paid for through his wrestling scholarship.

“It came down to two greats schools where I had the best opportunity to experience success,” said Sether, who narrowed his choice to Notre Dame or NCAA D-I University of Buffalo, after earlier turning down an offer from the Naval Academy. “When I visited Notre Dame, I fell in love with the school and I knew right away, ‘This is where I want to go.’

“They’re ranked No. 1 and I’m going there because they want me to be on the team. They’re going for the national title, and I want to help them win the title....

“They also have one of the best business school’s in the country. My dad is chief financial officer at OIA Global, and it’s been my dream since I was a kid to become a CFO, just like my dad. To have this opportunity and to have my education paid for, I couldn’t ask for more.”

Sether said another reason he chose Notre Dame is that the wrestling program there reminded him of the program at Oregon City High School.

“[Oregon City coach Roger Rolen] instills in us that wrestling is family, and they do the same thing at Notre Dame,” Sether said. “There’s a family atmosphere. I got along with the guys so well [during my visit to Notre Dame]. I clicked with them right away.”

“Kyle will definitely be missed,” Rolen said. “But his attitude, work ethic, leadership and behavior on and off the mat will continue to be present in our room and around our school. As a coach it will be easy to use Kyle’s qualities as a “model” to help up-and-coming wrestlers to try to emulate.

“I am extremely happy for Kyle, the Sether family and Kyle’s opportunity to continue his dreams and share his passion for wrestling. I plan to follow Kyle’s progress and success during his college years, and it will be an honor and gratifying to know that Oregon City had a part in his successful career — past, present and future. I am honored to be able to call Kyle a friend.”

Sether says his successful high school wrestling career and the resulting scholarship almost didn’t happen.

He was discouraged his freshman year at Oregon City when he won only one of three matches at state, leaving himself short of his goal of winning four straight state titles.

And he was further discouraged at the start of his sophomore wrestling season, when he lost three of five matches at his first competition of the season, the Pacific Junior Open.

“I wanted to give up,” Sether recalls. “I wanted to quit wrestling.... Marc Sprague, my club coach [with the Cobra Allstars] since I was 8-year-olds, is the reason I didn’t, and I can’t thank him enough....”

Sprague recalls, “Kyle said to me, ‘Coach, I can’t do this anymore. I just worked too hard to get beat like this. This was my last match. I’m done. I just can’t do it anymore.’

“His words frightened me, as Kyle and I had shared his dreams to be at the top for the last six or seven years, and I had never heard anything like this from him, or any other kids I’ve coached for 40 years. Kyle was definitely having an emotional meltdown.”

“I did get discouraged,” Kyle recalls. “And I was ready to quit. But Marc Sprague sat down with me and had a long conversation about ‘you reap what you sow.’ That it’s not important if your hand doesn’t get raised. But what is important is you keep working hard....

“Yes, it was tough. Yes I got discouraged. But if you keep working hard, nothing is impossible.”

“As I see it, Kyle won twice,” Sprague says. “He won once when he learned that winning is not victory, but winning is rising each time you fall. That victory comes only through perseverance. For without perseverance, there is no victory....

“Kyle learned that perseverance is one of the greatest seeds of greatness.”

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