FDSH graduate Teske ready to reinvent himself at UNI
CEDAR FALLS — When Brody Teske takes the mat as the University of Northern Iowa’s starting 125-pound wrestler Sunday at South Dakota State University, he may stop for a brief moment and think about the arduous journey which led him to this very point in time.
Brookings, S.D. is a long way from Happy Valley. And Fort Dodge’s only four-time state champion never imagined being in head coach Doug Schwab’s Panther lineup less than 40 months after committing to national champion Penn State University as a decorated high school senior.
“I have been preparing for a major breakthrough on the college wrestling scene for a long time,” Teske said. “I’ve had so many battles in the early part of my collegiate career. Injuries, haters, transferring and (the) COVID (global pandemic) have all hit hard.
“I’ve been up the rough side of the mountain, but it molded me into what I am and I’m excited to present it to the entire country.”
Teske returned “home,” so to speak, last January. After two years at Penn State, FDSH’s all-time leader for both victories (177) and win percentage (.994) transferred to UNI in search of a fresh start, craving the roots of the family that helped mold him as a person.
“I have been down and out and away for a while, but never did I quit,” said Teske, a redshirt sophomore. “My desire to succeed is so much stronger than anyone or anything’s desire to see me fail.”
Teske took everything he learned during his time with the Nittany Lions — highs and lows, trials and tribulations alike — and began to hone his craft upon arrival in Cedar Falls.
“I’ve been around the best guys in the world at this game,” Teske said. “I’ve taken pieces from all the experiences, and I’m building a system specific for me.
“I’m so stoked to prove who I am and what I’m about for the people who have been with me from day one.”
Teske helped Fort Dodge capture its first state wrestling title in 33 years as a senior in 2018. Now, he is reunited with former Dodger teammates Drew Bennett, Cayd Lara and Triston Lara in the Northern Iowa lineup, marking the first time since 1949 a Div. I program in Iowa will include four starting wrestlers from the same high school.
“It’s pretty cool,” Teske said. “The day I transferred, I know all of us talked about it together. We sat down and had lunch the first day I got back and it was like, ‘man, this is real. We can do it.’
“Now, it is great to have that opportunity become a reality.”