Athlete, Wrestling, 2005-2007
It’s fair to say that inductee Ray Stephens dominated collegiate wrestling in his time, winning the national championship in three of his four years, including becoming Waubonsee’s first ever NJCAA National Champion during his freshman year in 2006.
In his sophomore year, Stephens appeared destined to repeat, capturing the 125-lb. crown at the Central Regional and being named Most Valuable Player of the tournament in the process. However, in the National Championship match, Stephens’ opponent made a surprise move and pinned him in the final seconds.
“I laid there for a few seconds looking up at the ceiling, and then said to myself that my life is more than just wrestling,” Stephens said.
But after being named Waubonsee’s Male Athlete of the Year for 2006-2007, Stephens continued to wrestle thanks to a scholarship from Lindenwood University in St. Louis. He took the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 133-lb. National Title as both a junior and senior, helping Lindenwood win the NAIA National Team Title each of those years.
Stephens now works security for the university while coaching wrestling at Timberland High School in the St. Louis suburb of Wentzville, Mo.