Class of 2017
Ray Eickelschulte began wrestling in 1973 in high school (Quincy Senior High) after a friend had invited me to a practice. Ray immediately fell in love with the sport and spent time over the next few summers attending wrestling camps around the state and country. After wrestling all four years of high school, Ray attended college in Quincy. Although there wasn’t wrestling at this college Ray was still intrigued by the sport.
After graduating from college receiving a Bachelors in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Physics and completing a teaching certificate, Ray began a job in northern Illinois teaching and coaching football and wrestling for two years. Moving to central Illinois and Ray met his lovely wife Gina (they have been married for 30 years), Ray was employed at a private school (Quincy Notre Dame) and coached football and wrestling for the next three years. The third year at this school half of the team qualified for sectionals. Again moving back into the public school (Brown County) realm Ray taught and coached football and wrestling for three more years. It was soon after this that Ray and Gina’s first son was born and time became precious. Being offered a job closer to home at Central HS it became obvious that to stay with the sport, time would be an issue especially with Ray’s second son on the way. This is when Ray and his wife talked about something that would be involved in the sport but not take so much time from the family.
Officiating was the obvious choice and Ray’s love of the sport gave him the incentive to work hard to learn. Twenty some years later Ray still loves the sport and works just as hard now to stay up with new moves and rules. In Ray’s spare time his free time he works with his nephew in the Boy Scouts of America. Ray, himself being an eagle scout and having a son that is also an eagle scout, has shown the values of this program to me for young men. Also being a member of the Order of the Arrow has led Ray to assist many local youth with becoming fine upstanding contributing people in society. When Ray is not officiating, you can find him fishing and hunting, landscaping and swimming.
Ray has worked seven IESA, one IKWF, five Fresh-Soph, 4 IHSA Dual Team and 7 IHSA Individual state finals. Ray has been an IHSA Certified Wrestling Clinician for the past seven years
Other honors that Ray has received along with this induction to the IWCOA Hall of Fame are IWCOA Bronze award, IEA Region 12 Crystal Apple Award and the Boy Scouts of America Bronze Pelican Religious Award. Ray and his wife of thirty years, Gina live in Fowler, IL.