If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
BY MIKE AVITT
Thanks to David Cunning for this great photo of Bob Geigel and Mount Ayr High School wrestling coach, Doyle Thomas, in an exhibition match at the Mount Ayr High School gym on March 24, 1965. You may remember Bob Geigel from his days wrestling for promoter Gust Karras on Big 2 Wrestling broadcast on KFEQ-TV, St. Joseph, Missouri. I remember him well along with Sonny Myers, “Bulldog” Bob Brown, and a host of other local favorites.
Doyle Thomas had a connection to either Gust Karras or Bob Geigel, but I couldn’t get it documented. Geigel wrestled for the Algona (Iowa) High School and then the University of Iowa. He became a promoter in 1963 and retired from wrestling full-time in 1976.
Doyle Thomas coached football and wrestling at Mt. Ayr High School until May 1966. His 1964-65 Raider wrestlers went undefeated with a record of 9-0.
The two grapplers faced off for three periods of three minutes each. Doyle “Tank” Thomas emerged the victor by a score of 15-9, but Geigel succeeded in promoting professional wrestling, which is what he came to do. The gate receipts (over $500) were given to a local charity and the Heart Fund. The event was sponsored by the Mount Ayr Jaycees.
Oh, those Jaycees – they weren’t done yet. There were two other events on the ticket that night.
The Mount Ayr High School basketball boys played the basketball girls (girls’s rules). The boys won a close game, 59-57, with Allyn “Stella” Monaghan scoring an amazing 20 points for the girls. Wait, what?
Anyway, the night still held a fierce basketball battle between the Jaycees and the Mount Ayr High School faculty. Barton French, coach for the faculty, had no substitutes, which gave his team a disadvantage. The Jaycees would be disadvantaged, too, when Ringgold County Deputy Sheriff LaVerne Worthington was called to the scene. Jaycees coach Jim Mahan became so animated, he had to be hand-cuffed to his chair! Even with a restrained coach, the Jaycees won 49-26. Oh, those Jaycees.
I wasn’t living in Mount yet in 1965, but I participated in a Donkey Ball Game once or twice and I remember the fun stuff that isn’t done anymore. That’s why we call them the “Good Ol’ Days.”