“I know that he's definitely instilled in me that you've got to enjoy it,” Sam said. “If you stop enjoying it, it becomes a job and wrestling's too hard to be a job, just to go to practice and work hard.”
Sam competed at the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Trials before winning this year. Dave and his family were in Iowa City for the Trials last April.
“I tell you what, it was so much fun when he finally won that last match,” Dave said. “That was good for the morale. We were all standing and yelling.”
Sam said Dave has always been a great motivator and father. He said his father's outlook on wrestling and life are reasons he had an opportunity for success.
“He did a really good job of never putting that shadow on me,” Sam said. “I never felt like I had to reach his goals or catch up to him. He did a real good job of instilling little things along the way.”