Athletes can choose to continue to compete after high school or college, although it’s easier in some sports.
There are plenty of softball leagues, golf tournaments and road races.
Chances for wrestlers to keep competing aren’t as numerous, but each summer Josh Majerus finds his way back to the wrestling mat during the Cornhusker State Games.
Majerus lives in Genoa, where he's a physical education teacher and football, wrestling and track coach at Twin River Public Schools.
Majerus has dominated the State Games wrestling competition, with a record of 48-0 in the wrestling events coming into Saturday’s competition. He's earned more than 15 gold medals.
Last year, Majerus became the seventh Nebraska athlete to be named the top state games athlete in the country when he was awarded the National Congress of State Games Male Athlete of the Year Award at a banquet in Portland, Oregon.
Majerus, 29, wrestled in high school at Boone Central and was an NCAA Division II national champion at Chadron State. He began wrestling in the State Games right after college, and this is his seventh year.
After his college career, Majerus continued to wrestle against college wrestlers in open tournaments early in the college season.
“At first I started going to open tournaments at the college level,” he said. “With teaching, it made it tougher and tougher. I was coaching football and I couldn’t make it to those fall open tournaments. It’s like playing volleyball or basketball, but with wrestling there is not as many opportunities. The State Games lands in a good time of the year for me and it’s a good workout, so I started, and I guess I never stopped.”
Now, the State Games is the only tournament Majerus wrestles in each year. There are several divisions — advantage, beach, freestyle, Greco, scholastic and takedown.
“It keeps me young, and it keeps me in shape. I just enjoy it. It brings out my competitiveness a little bit,” Majerus said.
Majerus likes that you can enter a variety of different divisions. There are usually three or four other wrestlers in each bracket. Majerus says he can wrestle at least 10 matches.
“There is so many brackets that you can enter with different rules, so that makes it kind of fun,” he said.
Majerus helped restart the high school wrestling program at Twin River last year, and some of his club wrestlers also wrestled in the State Games.
Majerus is quite tall for a wrestler at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. He says he was always the tallest one in his class, and there were only a few times in his wrestling career when he wrestled someone taller.
One of his favorite State Games memories is when he wrestled Jake Stevenson. Stevenson also was from Boone Central and was also a national champion in college, at Morningside. Majerus won in a close match.