Charlie Klepps


The ref blew the final whistle and I paused for a moment kneeling on the mat. I looked around Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. I found my mom and my friends, gave them a slight wave and a smile, and walked to the center to shake hands with my opponent.

I had just lost the final match of my wrestling career, which began for me at the age of 6. It was an odd feeling. As an athlete, you hope that final moment never comes, however when it arrived for me I didn’t feel terribly sad.

There was a sense of pride in what I had accomplished, what I had seen, and the opportunities the sport of wrestling had given me. I also knew it was time to move on with my life. And the next phase came fast.

I walked across the stage as an Iowa State graduate a few months later and quickly moved back to my hometown of Billings, Montana to begin working as an intern for Q2 News. I must’ve done a decent enough job because they offered me a full-time job and that’s where I’ve been since. It’s been great! Moving to Iowa during college reinforced the love I have for Montana and the people who live here. I love getting to share your stories, so please reach out to me with any ideas.

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