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Billings Senior’s Charlie Klepps chooses Iowa State

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 03, 2018

BILLINGS – One of Montana’s all-time great high school wrestlers is headed to a Big 12 school.

Charlie Klepps announced Wednesday night that he just recently made the decision to attend Iowa State. And a big reason was the comfort zone.

“Mike Zadick is the assistant coach there,” Klepps said. “He went to Great Falls High and was actually best friends with my mom’s younger brother, so it was just that weird connection.”

Klepps won four State AA titles at Billings Senior, his latest at 132 pounds. He was also an all-state soccer player and said he fielded scholarship offers in both sports.

Klepps admitted the thought of attending a program with rich wrestling tradition, highlighted by Cael Sanderson’s four NCAA Division I individual titles and Olympic gold, was intriguing but also daunting.

“It definitely was a little intimidating,” he said. “(I feel like Zadick) is going to have my back most of the time. There’s another kid from Montana who goes there, too, Jarrett Degen, the four-timer from Belgrade, so there’s a lot of support there, I think.”

And the decision complements his choice of major.

“They have a really good journalism school, so it seemed like a pretty good fit,” he said.