Tag: ‘oak park’


On Being extraordinary in wrestling and life: Coach Powell

Michele Weldon | July 5, 2011

See for yourself in this video why being on this team with this coach is an extraordinary experience for the young men on the team, including all three of my sons. Coach Powell talks about the coaches, the Oak Park-River Forest High School Huskies wrestling team, recent 2010 grad Charlie Johnson, and how any man can be extraordinary. Listen to senior Brian Toldeo talk about how wrestling changed his life. Watch Chris Ellis embrace Coach Powell. And maybe you can understand why it is about much more than wrestling.


Coaching & Parenting: Knowing What To Say When and How

Michele Weldon | February 13, 2011

I have taught all my boys to read, ride a bicycle, drive a car, heck, even eat with a fork, make a bed or a sandwich, fold clothes and study for tests, plus 10,000 other life skills they need to know to be able to get from Monday to Tuesday and from kindergarten through college. But it is Coach Powell they listen to. He’s tough when he needs to be. Kind when it counts. A mother is not a coach and maybe it would be weird if we both delivered the same messages the same way. But we both want the same results.


Wrestling Mom’s 10 Commandments

Michele Weldon | February 6, 2011

You would think that good sportsmanship is a given, that as parents we are old enough to know better than to boo a young wrestler, a coach or a team. We want to teach our kids to be respectful, play fair, respect the referees and the opponents. After all, every match begins with a handshake between the opponents. And it is supposed to end with a handshake to the opposing team’s coach. It doesn’t always work the way it should. So here are 10 Commandments for Wrestling Moms (and Dads) to help you be a better fan.


On Coming Back and What Integrity Means

Michele Weldon | April 29, 2010

OPRFHS 2009 graduate Jake Venerable talks about what Coach Mike Powell means to him and why he came back to the varsity wrestling team after leaving for a year. And why this group of teammates who shared “blood, sweat and tears” will be his friends for life.


That smile and all it means for all of us

Michele Weldon | February 12, 2010

He is responsible for that moment of intense pride. It wasn’t handed to him, it didn’t land on him when he opened the window. it did not come from me. And it gives me chills to witness the satisfaction he reaps from his own determination.


2009 OPRF Wrestler Brendan Rogers on Coach Powell, Injury and The Team Medal

Michele Weldon | January 18, 2010

Brendan Rogers, an OPRF Wrestler 2004-2009, talks about the impact Coach Powell had on his life, especially the moment Powell gave Brendan the team state medal; Brendan was unable to wrestle team state because of a knee injury.


2007 Wrestling Alum Weldon Rogers on Coach Powell, The Ear and What Wrestling Means

Michele Weldon | January 12, 2010

He’s proud of his wrestling career in high school and briefly in college. He’s also proud of the “ear” he earned. Weldon Rogers talks about Coach Powell and his own transformation as an athlete and a young man. Now a college junior, Weldon claims he went from being “garbage” as a youth wrestler to placing fourth in Illinois in 2007 at the IHSA Class AA individual state tournament for 140 pounds.


Coach Mike Powell on The Future

Michele Weldon | November 24, 2009


Coach Mike Powell On Health

Michele Weldon |


Coach Mike Powell on Wrestling Myths

Michele Weldon | November 23, 2009