Joe M. Collins
The “Surfboard Kid”
Joe grew up on a farm in Nova, graduating from Mapleton High School in 1974, and from Ashland College in 1978. He is an all-around athlete, but excelled in football and wrestling.
In his football career at Mapleton, he played four years of varsity football and achieved many honors. At Ashland College he played four years of varsity and in 1974 was Outstanding Linemen and was a team leader in three of four years in sacks.
In 1974, he won the Ohio State Wrestling Championship-185 lb. Class and was the first at Mapleton and the first in Ashland County to win the A-AA Crown. One year before he won the title he was in the hospital with a serious back injury, in which he was told by the doctors to give up his athletic career. He decided on major surgery and having to wear a back brace for several months. His season ended at Mapleton with a 30-0-0 record with 19 pins, giving him the nickname of “Surfboard Kid” by pinning his opponents with the surfboard combination. Career record was 53 wins, 1 tie, and 4 losses.
In 1974, he went on to the AAU Junior Olympics in Lincoln, Nebraska. He ran into more bad luck before he left; he pulled a muscle in his back. With great pain he ended up Third in the Nation and had the opportunity to wrestle-off for the U.S. Olympic Team, but decided to start his college career at Ashland College. There he was All-American Heavyweight in 1975-76 and missed one year for knee surgery in 1978. Then, in 1980 he won the National Police Olympic-Unlimited Class Title.
Joe was not only interested in sports while in the band. He was in FFA, Varsity M, College Club, FTA, Band, Student Council President, Senior Class President, and attended Buckeye Boy’s State.
Since his graduation from Ashland College in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science Degree, he has taught at Indian River Correctional Institution, was a deputy sheriff at Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, was promoted to sergeant, and is now bailiff.
Nominator: Sherry Biddinger
Presenter: Tom Gaus