Showing just how far he’d go to be able to continue his wrestling career, Dakota Ream will be moving 1,000 miles from home after graduating Bradley Central next spring.
The senior 126-pounder signed scholarship papers to wrestle for Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, Friday and is looking forward to the “new challenge” in a place he’s only visited briefly.
“I’m very excited to be able to keep wrestling,” Ream proclaimed. “It’s going to be different, living that far away, but I liked what I saw. I really liked the coaching staff and it is a nice city with friendly people.”
An NAIA program that competes in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Briar Cliff and Ream were first connected by a recruiting internet site before he was invited up for an official visit.
For the past three years Briar Cliff has been under the direction of head coach Joe Privitere, who was the 2000 FILA Greco World Silver Medalist. Having been an assistant coach at Davidson and The Citadel before moving to Iowa, Privitere has increased the Charger roster size to nearly 40 wrestlers, representing 21 states from coast-to-coast — New Jersey to California, Washington to Florida.
This past summer, the Iowa Junior Greco Team Privitere coaches finished second in the country, earning him the title of Northwest Regional Representative for USA Wrestling-Iowa. He recently accepted a scholarship to the NWCA Coaches Academy, a tremendous learning experience and opportunity he feels will help better himself and the Charger program.
“I was very impressed with the coach (Privitere),” Ream commented. “He’s trying to build something I want to be a part of.”
Going 37-10 last season, Ream is Bradley’s only returning state medalist this season, having earned fifth place in the 113-pound TSSAA state traditional tournament last season.
“He was 15 seconds from a spot in the state finals,” declared Bear head coach Ben Smith. “He’s a strong competitor with a good work ethic and a strong drive to win.”
“It’s great that he’s been able to go ahead and sign. That takes the pressure off his senior season,” added Smith. “He’s had a good career here and he’s looking to cap it off with a state championship this year.”
“I’ve been wrestling for 11 years and wrestling here (at Bradley) has taught me character on and off the mat,” Ream proclaimed. “I really enjoy wrestling. I like that you control the outcome. While in other sports what you do is dependant on what your teammates do, in wrestling it’s just you and your opponent alone on the mat.”
Ream and the rest of the Bears will open the new wrestling season in a little over a week.