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2019 Holiday Gift Guide


Wrestling with what to give the wrestlers, coaches and fans on your holiday gift list? No need to go into overtime at the mall or online ... thanks to this list of some gift ideas that'll score big points. (To learn more about an item -- and place your order -- simply click on the title.)

Hot off the press: New books for 2019

From Compton to Cleveland by Edward Gallo with Joey Davis

Joey Davis has made a name for himself in college wrestling ... and in mixed martial arts. Born and raised in Compton, California in greater Los Angeles, Joey Davis headed east to Cleveland to wrestle at Notre Dame College of Ohio. In four years, Davis won four NCAA Division II individual titles -- and he did it without a single loss. With his 133-0 record, Davis became the first undefeated, four-time champ in D2 wrestling. Now fighting for Bellator MMA -- one of the nation's top pro MMA organizations -- Davis is maintaining that flawless performance, with a 5-0 record. This engaging book takes readers on a journey from the tough streets of Compton to the super-competitive world of college wrestling ... and beyond.

Believe & Achieve: Overcoming Obstacles to Excel by Adam Wheeler with Craig Sesker

Olympic medalist Adam Wheeler's life is the very definition of the term "overcoming adversity." He grew up in a single-parent home with serious economic struggles -- not to mention a couple major medical challenges -- to become an Olympic bronze medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling at 96 kilograms/211 pounds at the 2008 Beijing Games. In the past decade, Wheeler has since served as a police officer, then as a firefighter. Wheeler shares his inspirational real-life story in his new book, written along with respected wrestling writer Craig Sesker.

Giant Killer: The Carlton Haselrig Story by Carlton Haselrig and Kevin Emily

The nation's first -- and only -- six-time NCAA wrestling champion. Pennsylvania high school state champ (despite being from a school without a wrestling program). NFL All-Pro offensive guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. One of just fifteen named to the NCAA 75th Anniversary team as one of the greatest college wrestlers since 1928. All of these accomplishments just scratch the surface of the life and career of Carlton Haselrig. Now the all-time great amateur wrestler/pro football star shares his story -- the good and the bad -- in this new book from Haselrig and Kevin Emily, author of "Pathfinder I" and "Pathfinder II"" which told the stories of pioneering African-Americans in wrestling.

Tough Street: From Osage to London to Lehigh, the Remarkable Life of Gerald "Germ" Leeman by James Drew

Gerald Leeman lived the American Dream. He earned a place in amateur wrestling history as a three-time Iowa high school state champ ... an NCAA titlewinner (and Outstanding Wrestler honoree) for what is now University of Northern Iowa ... a silver medal at the 1948 London Olympics ... and a storied career as head coach at Lehigh University. The son of an alcoholic father, Leeman battled the disease later in life with grace and dignity, and became a glowing example of the power of recovery and redemption. "Tough Street" tells Leeman's life story by sharing the stories of those who knew him best, gathered by author James Drew, who grew up in Leeman's hometown of Osage, Iowa.

OOOSSS: Mike Denney: 50 Years of Coaching Excellence by Craig Sesker

Mike Denney is one of the most successful college wrestling coaches of the past half-century ... guiding mat programs to titles -- and national recognition -- first at University of Nebraska-Omaha, then at Maryville University near St. Louis. This new book from award-winning wrestling writer Craig Sesker sets the stage in the opening chapter by talking about Denney's upbringing on a small farm in rural Nebraska, attending a one-room schoolhouse, in a situation that sounds more "Little House of the Prairie" than future coaching legend. The rest of the book tells the story of Denney's coaching successes, year by year, of the man Sesker describes as "one of my all-time favorite coaches and people."

A Wrestler's Curse by Dr. Bill Welker

Written by Dr. Bill Welker -- a former wrestler/coach/official who shares his knowledge and love of wrestling in books, an instructional DVD, a magazine column, and radio show -- "A Wrestler's Curse" is his first work of fiction. This young adult novel takes the reader along the journey of Jacob Christian's life in wrestling and in the classroom as a youngster, high school student, and in college ... taking on the "coming of age" challenges that just about anyone can relate to in their own lives. The outcomes are sometimes amusing, sometimes heartbreaking ... but always genuine, and seemingly true to the main character's strong moral character that makes this book appropriate for most junior high and high school-age readers.

Dawn of a New Era: Penn State Wrestling 2009-2018 by the Penn State Wrestling Club

The past decade of Penn State wrestling has been an incredible one. In April 2009, Cael Sanderson became head wrestling coach of the Nittany Lions ... and it was a complete reversal of fortune for the program that had just completed its first century. In his first decade at the helm (2009-2018), Sanderson led Penn State wrestling to seven NCAA team titles, 20 NCAA individual champions, 51 NCAA All-American honorees, and four Hodge Trophy winners. To commemorate the past decade's success, the Penn State Wrestling Club put together this brand-new book. It's the sequel -- and supplement -- to the first Penn State wrestling book, A Century of Penn State Wrestling also from the Penn State Wrestling Club.

Pennsylvania Wrestling Handbook: 2019-20 by Tom Elling

Compiled by award-winning wrestling writer Tom Elling and updated each year, "Pennsylvania Wrestling Handbook" is the go-to source for the sport in the Keystone State. Updated each year -- and now weighing in at just over 400 pages -- this handbook lists every returning wrestler who was either in PIAA series or who had at least one win. PAIST wrestler information is also included. In addition to statistical information not readily available anywhere else, it also features concise articles by some of the most respected wrestling writers in Pennsylvania. It's the up-to-date, go-to resource for coaches, media professionals, and dedicated fans.

Hall-of-Fame-worthy gifts

It's the ultimate dream for a wrestler to aspire to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. Until that happens, the next best thing is to receive a unique gift from these wrestling institutions.

There are books to appeal to all ages, including The History of Collegiate Wrestling-A Century Of Wrestling Excellence by Jay Hammond... and, The Wrestling Presidents from Pins to Patriots which is especially appealing to young readers.

The Hall also has items that let you wear your love of "the oldest and greatest sport" for all to see, with a variety of shirts (including a National Wrestling Hall of Fame Logo T-shirt) ... and National Wrestling Hall of Fame Lightweight Mesh Back Hat.

Envision "Vision Quest" presents under the tree ...

"Vision Quest" -- the 1985 movie and the original novel by Terry Davis -- remain favorites of generations of wrestlers. Frank Jasper -- the young actor who brought the character of undefeated state champ Brian Shute to life in the film -- now has the website ShuteShirts.com which offers a range of unique gifts, including a signed 8" x 10" photo of Shute autographed by Jasper ($20) ... the versatile, color-saturated Thompson Backpack ($49) ... and, no surprise, a selection of wearables, including the classic Red Shute Shirt ($25).

Want more unbeatable gift ideas? Take a look at InterMat's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide … and the 2017 Holiday Gift Guide.

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