Trapper champions Rhodes, Wright inducted to NJCAA Hall of Fame

By Steve Moseley
Posted 3/12/20

There were many highlights on the Northwest College wrestling teams from 2002 to 2005. Two who shined especially bright were Tyler Rhodes and Seth Wright.

Rhodes and Wright were inducted to the …

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Trapper champions Rhodes, Wright inducted to NJCAA Hall of Fame

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There were many highlights on the Northwest College wrestling teams from 2002 to 2005. Two who shined especially bright were Tyler Rhodes and Seth Wright.

Rhodes and Wright were inducted to the NJCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame during the national championship tournament last weekend in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Both were members of Northwest’s 2004 NJCAA national championship team — led by head coach Jim Zeigler — that produced an unprecedented landslide. The Trappers, ranked No. 1 from the preseason through the national tournament that season, ran through the field in Rochester, Minnesota, and had the championship mathematically sewn up before Saturday’s final session had even begun.

Rhodes, a heavyweight and two-time state champion at Mountain View High School, won back-to-back NJCAA championships at Northwest in 2003 and 2004.

A team captain both seasons, Rhodes “was the unquestionable leader of the team,” Zeigler wrote in his nomination profile. “His presence was noticeable from the moment his team followed him into the gym.”

Rhodes ended his Trapper career with an incredible 51-5 record. He did not lose a single match to a junior college opponent.

After graduating from NWC, Rhodes signed to attend the University of Oklahoma, where he spent a year as a red shirt.

The next season, he transferred to the University of Northern Iowa with former teammate Wright.

Rhodes finished second in the NCAA West Region and qualified for the NCCA Division I National Championships in 2006.

Now a successful contractor with worldwide specialized mining operations miles beneath the surface, Rhodes, his wife Mandi and three children reside in Douglas.

As for Wright, the two-time Utah high school state champ transferred from Northwest to Northern Iowa where he — with teammate Rhodes looking on — won West Region and competed in the NCAA Division I Championships in Oklahoma.

Wrote Zeigler in his profile of Wright: “It was the only national tournament in which he did not make the finals or place.”

In spring 2006, Wright moved back to Utah. After a few years in the workforce, he returned to school at the age of 25, joining the New Mexico Highlands University team under hall of fame coach Doug Moses.

“In that 2009-10 season he [Wright] wrestled sparingly and received little attention in the NCAA Division II rankings, but entered the lineup when post-season arrived,” Zeigler wrote. “He was runner-up in the Rocky Mountain Conference, but two weeks later, he dominated the field and won the NCAA Division II National Championship at 125 pounds.”

“At the conclusion of his career,” the coach summarized, “Seth wrestled in four national tournaments across three different divisions, making the finals three times and winning two titles.”

Wright married Stephanie Walz in 2014, returning to NWC one last time to help Zeigler coach a Trapper squad in 2015-16 that featured three All-Americans and one national champion.

The Wrights and their daughter live in Jerome, Utah, where Wright and brother Josh are co-founders and coaches at TW (Train Wright) Wrestling.

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