Shane Light, 2018 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee
Three-peat, four-peat are common terms in modern day sports jargon. But even as few years back as the 1980s the now common term was seldom used.
Lisbon’s Shane Light was the eighth wrestler in Iowa High School Athletic Association history to become a four-time state champion.
Being a four-time state champion is still a rare and outstanding accomplishment, but when you are from Lisbon coached by Brad Smith, those kinds of honors seem to just almost come with the territory.
“My dad wrestled for Al Baxter (at Lisbon). Even after I was born he would work out at practices and he’d take me along,” Light recalls. “Mom says when I was a toddler I would wrestle with my stuffed animals and tear them up.”
Light also credited the success of previous Lisbon champions and the pride Lisbon has in its wrestling history as key factors in his success. He also noted he wrestled for Brad Smith who coached every level of wrestling at Lisbon.
Not everything comes easy, even for a four-time state champion, Light acknowledged. ”14 days before sectionals my junior year I tweaked my knee and had to have surgery,“ he recalled. Long story short, before he could wrestle at sectionals he had a challenge match in the Lisbon wrestling room. Smith kicked all the wrestlers out of the room. Light won a hard-fought 14-9 decision over Bryan Stewart to win back his 125 pound spot, despite tearing some of the stitches in his knee. At districts Light was beaten and had to earn his way back to the state tournament with a wrestle back match. Light was head butted and knocked out in that match. Smith distracted the referee long enough for Light to come to and win the match with a 5-point move started by a headlock. “That’s what they tell me, I don’t remember.”
The biggest highlight of his career came his senior year when Light’s two younger brothers also wrestled in the state finals. Light believes it is the only time in the state’s history that three brothers wrestled in the state finals in the same year. “I’m hoping the three of us could lead the march into the state finals some year,” he said.
Light was also a 4-time junior freestyle champion, a 2-time Asics Tiger All-American, a 2-time USA All-American, an American Wrestling News All-American and Runner-up in the 1990 Freestyle World Team Trials.
Light was a NJCAA National Qualifier at Ellsworth Community College, and an assistant coach there. He is now a volunteer assistant coach to Smith at Lisbon where the Lions continue to crank out state champions...three of them being four-time state champions.
Light was inducted in the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018 along with Steve Hamilton, Kirk Myers and Lennie Zalesky.
High School: Lisbon
Coach: Brad Smith
Four-time state champion (1987-1990)
1987 98 pound state champion
1988 112 pound state champion
1A Outstanding Wrestler
1989 125 pound state champion
1A Outstanding Wrestler
1990 125 pound state champion
4-time Junior Freestyle State Champion
2-time Asics All-American
2-time USA Wrestling All American
Runner-up in 1990 Junior Freestyle World
College: Ellsworth Community College
1993 NJCAA Regional Champion and
NJCAA National Qualifier