Perry Wrestling: Q and A with "Maroon Dynasty" author Mark Kirk
Mark Kirk was never a state champion at Perry, but he may know more about the town’s history with wrestling than anyone alive today. Kirk graduted from Perry in 1975 and wrestled on the high school team. But he’s never quit following the school he once wrestled for. Kirk turned his passion for Perry wrestling into a book called “The Maroon Dynasty” which is a collection of facts, tables and colorful anecdtoes from the past.
What made you want to compile this book, and how long did it take?
I guess because I’m weird. But seriously, it started out as a small project. I had asked Scott Chenoweth if he knew of a list of all the state placers and it’s something that nobody had so it went from there. It took about six months for the first addition. I have a very understanding wife.
What do you think makes Perry wrestling so special?
There’s so many things that go into it. But I think mainly it comes down to pride, and being a part of something that’s bigger than you are. And it’s not just the wrestlers who have that pride, it comes from the whole community. You go to a dual and the band is there and there’s a huge crowd. You don’t see that in many places these days.
For a long time Perry was a farming town, going back to the days of Jack VanBebber. Has that dynamic changed where farm kids aren’t the primary source of wrestlers anymore?
Yes, times have changed. That used to be an old stereotype…just good ‘ol tough farm boys. I think now it’s kids who come from families where there parents have more typical jobs.
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