Former Kernels Feldman, Jones inducted into wrestling Hall
RAPID CITY — Tyler Jones grew up watching idol, Adam Feldman, wrestle for the Mitchell Kernels.
As both men were inducted into the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame before championship matches at the Class A state wrestling tournament Saturday, Jones beamed with excitement and gratitude.
“It is really special to me to be able to celebrate this with someone like Adam, who I grew up idolizing and trying to be like,” Jones said. “Just the fact that I get to participate in this with my childhood hero means a lot to me.”
Feldman was also humbled by his selection into the Hall of Fame, adding it was an honor to be recognized for his wrestling accomplishments.
“When you are young and competing, this is the last thing you ever think about,” Feldman said. “When the time comes years later, it makes it more special. It is nice to be here around a lot of special people who I have not seen in a long time. It reminds me of the old days.”
Feldman accumulated a 142-7 record in his five-year wrestling career for the Kernels. He won the state championship and finished as a runner-up twice. In 1992, he finished second and the National High School senior Nationals and was rated second in the nation, by Amateur Wrestling News. Feldman went on to be a two-time All-American at South Dakota State University, where he also won a Division II national championship.
“I was very fortunate to have a new coach in Andy Tate come in my first year in 1988,” Feldman said. “It was great, I always looked up to a lot of the guys on the 1982 state championship team. Mitchell was always competitive and we had a tough wrestling room.”
Jones wrestled for Mitchell from 1994-1998. During that span he was a five-time state placer. Jones claimed back-to-back state championships in 1997 and 1998 and finished his Kernel career with a record of 159-14. Jones went on to become a four-time All-American at South Dakota State University, finishing his collegiate career with a 102-17 record.
“Those guys were good,” said Mitchell resident Bob Everson, who recalls watching the former Kernels in the 1990s. “When you watched those two guys on the mat, you knew something exciting was going to happen because they were never going to let up on anybody. They were always giving their all on the mat and it was exciting to watch.”
Both Feldman and Jones said they enjoyed watching this year’s Kernels compete Saturday at the Class A state tournament.
“I was really impressed with how the guys competed today,” Jones said. “I think the direction of the program is going the right way.”