My piece on North St. Louis County ( Ferguson area) wrestling history.
( I spoke with Jerry Middleton of the Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame. He told me no one on the board doesn’t recognize the tremendous accomplishments of Coach Sherertz. Middleton also stated while there are issues and complications there is support for a Sherertz induction. ).
Last night I had a great time attending the Missouri Border Brawl with my former teammate and one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of St. Louis my friend Demetrius Jordan. In a conversation we were told that there is a group that has consistently fought against Coach Charlie Sherertz, Sr. being inducted into the Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame.
If the Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame doesn’t include Coach Sherertz it needs to go out of business. No disrespect to any inductees: but a glimpse of the members shows people without a fraction of the accomplishments of Coach Sherertz.
Let’s remember who Charlie Sherertz is. He is a man who started a wrestling program at Northwest High School in the Walnut Park neighborhood of North St Louis. It was a tough school with bad race relations, high poverty in a bad neighborhood. The program started in a classroom. There was no little league program. Within a couple of years Coach Sherertz built Northwest into a powerhouse winning five state titles.
Coach Sherertz then goes to Columbus, Nebraska and wins four state championships. Returning to the St. Louis area he takes over the program at McClure North. It was a program that had never been elite. His first year as head coach the team finishes second at state. The next three years the team is state champions.
Most of the individual state champions at McClure North never wrestled before high school. Many came from broken homes. Coach Sherertz once said he deliberately tried to reach these kids.
This brings me to a story. One day a friend left his notebook in class. This was a wrestler who was going through tough times at home. Being nosy I opened up the notebook. It was full of Coach Sherertz quotes and drawings of him.
In an interview with my old neighbor Dan Dunn he once said he wouldn’t have graduated from high school without Coach Sherertz and there were many more just like him.
Towards the end of his career Coach Sherertz made a mistake. A minor mistake. It wasn’t rape or murder. Because of this mistake a group has fought to keep Coach Sherertz out of the Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame. I’ll argue it’s not about the mistakes. We all make mistakes and if we didn’t there would be no need in seeking God’s forgiveness. These are bitter and jealous men envious of the success of Coach Sherertz. Mixed in I’m sure are a few bigots who never liked the pivotal-role Coach Sherertz played in integrating wrestling in the state of Missouri.
I encourage anyone who wrestled for Coach Sherertz or knew him to contact the Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame in support of his induction.
Remember the snowy days when he was there to pick you up in his van for practice. Now be there for him as he is an elderly man struggling with Alzheimer’s disease in need of this honor while he’s still alive.