Scott Frohardt to Compete in Fourth NCAA Championships
March 14, 2002
By Scott D. Jones
When Scott Frohardt defeated Northern Iowa's Jon Garvin, 8-0, to win the West Region championship, he qualified for his fourth consecutive trip to NCAA Championships. This year's championships will be on March 21-23 in Albany, N.Y.
Frohardt, who is ranked 13th in the nation, currently has a 42-4 (91.3 percent) won-loss record and leads the team with 116 takedowns, 17 major decisions and a dozen pins. In his four-year Air Force career, Frohardt has an impressive 148-33 overall record, perhaps the most in Air Force history.
Earlier in the season, Frohardt beat Mike Parsons of the Virginia Military Academy to not only help secure Air Force's third consecutive All-Academy wrestling championship, but the team co-captain also became the first wrestler ever to capture his weight class all four years of his college career.
While consistent may be a good description, head coach Wayne Baughman said the best word to describe Frohardt, is "leader."
"He's been our leader since he got here," Baughman said. "He's as close to the 'whole man' concept as anyone here at the Academy could ever want." Baughman adds that Frohardt leads by example as well as on the mat. "His teammates look up to him and athletes in the other sports see this as well. They elected him President of the student athletes association. That's an honor and a big responsibility."
Undefeated in dual meets for the last two seasons and one of four 2001-02 NCAA qualifiers on the team, Frohardt was recruited by Baughman after a stellar high-school career at Parker's Ponderosa High. Frohardt was a three-time state champion and was sought after by several national programs. But Baughman had an edge he may not have been aware of at the time.
"I decided that I wanted to come to the Air Force Academy when I was eight years old and my parents brought me here for a soccer tournament," Frohardt recalls. "I saw all the airplanes and guys jumping out of them and I told them right then that this was the place I wanted to be. It was a pretty easy decision."
Wrestling at the 149 pound weight class, Frohardt, says he likes the individual aspects of his sport and the fact that toughness pays off. "I like the physical challenge that wrestling offers. This is a sport where the tougher guy is always going to win." He says the individualistic nature of wrestling forces him to prepare in his own way in addition to team practices. "I do things like run and lift away from practice - it keeps me aware mentally and prepared for competition."
Highly popular and still involved with his high school wrestling program as a volunteer at Ponderosa, school boosters and Frohardt's fans got together earlier this season and chartered a pair of busses to come watch their standout alumnus wrestle against Big-12 Conference foe Nebraska in December.
"It was great for that group of about 90 people to come down to watch me wrestle," he recalls. "There was a little more pressure on me that day, but I was fortunate to win my match."
Frohardt said that being a team captain and a cadet means that there are always people watching him. And he uses his high profile to good advantage.
"Every time I go to a practice to help out, kids come up to me and ask about the Academy and what it's like. I tell them about the friendships that you make and the opportunities you have that few people get to do," Frohardt said. "I also tell them that being here takes sacrifice. You're going to have to miss out on some things, but a few hours of extra work is a fair trade for a lifetime of skills."
On the mat, Frohardt, is eyeing his first All-American ranking as well as a national title, something Air Force has not had since Don Henderson in 1968. Since Air Force and Wyoming are the only Mountain West schools to field wrestling teams, the Falcons compete with a group of independents that make up the West Region.
After qualifying for the national meet, the top eight finishers in each weight class are named All-Americans. According to Baughman, Frohardt is wrestling in arguably the strongest weight class in the nation and has a tough challenge ahead. "Some people say the NCAA meet is tougher than the Olympics. Scott's in a tough weight class but we're hoping he's one of those surprise wrestlers that sneaks up and gets some upset wins."
Later this spring when his collegiate career is over, Frohardt's got his sights set on flying C-17s.
"I want to be an All-American. This year is my last chance to do that. But after it's over, I'll be getting ready for flight training," Frohardt said.