I’ve preferred to stay in the shadows over the years, but I’m getting more and more questions about who is running this web site as well as some people who think I am coaching the team. It all came to a head this summer when I received a few emails from prospective college coaches interested in recruiting Matt Tourdot with some of those emails addressing me as Coach Mongtomery.
Well they got half of that right. My name is Derek Montgomery and I’m a former Spartan wrestler (1996-2000), avid wrestling fan and constant supporter of the wrestling program and all Spartan athletics.
I first put together a web site for the wrestling team in 1996 after selling 10 pizzas for a school fundraiser. That got my name into a drawing to enter a money booth and I was lucky enough to be selected. I pulled down $148 from the booth, which was just a few dollars short of what it cost to purchase Microsoft Frontpage. Luckily I saved my allowance that week and was able to buy the program. It took me all night to figure out how to make a hyperlink, but once I conquered that, it was a few long weeks of designing late into the night and screwing around on Geocities (remember them?) uploading files and experimenting with cool backgrounds and animated graphics.
For the next few years, I redesigned the web site every year until settling on a blog format, which is much easier to update and easier for fans of the program to follow along. In 2009, the blog is changing yet again and from my count, it will be the 9th version of Spartanwrestling.com since it’s inception. It is one of the oldest high school wrestling web sites on the Internet and I hope the continued evolution of the site will help it remain one of the best.
In my spare time, I am a sports and wedding photographer based in Duluth, MN. I worked at newspapers all through college and for two years here in Duluth before my job was eliminated. You can check out some of my work on my website and on my blog. Losing my job wasn’t all bad. I no longer need to take vacation to attend a dual meet or wrestling tournament. I’m hoping that translates to more videos and photos on the web site.
Most of all, I do this so that fans of the team can be as close to the program as possible even if they are thousands of miles away. I kinda feel like Uncle Rico from the movie Napoleon Dynamite at times thinking about the good ‘ole days when I could still step onto the mat and wrestle. Well, like Uncle Rico, I’m stuck “wishing I could go back,” but since I can’t, managing this web site and keeping the Spartan wrestling community in touch is the next best thing.