Meek, Graham inducted into inaugural LHS Wrestling Hall of Fame

Don Meek (left) and Dee Graham were inducted as the first class of the LHS Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday during the Wildcat Classic, the same tournament Meek started almost 50 years ago.

The Louisburg High School wrestling
program is in its 50th season of existence and current head coach
Bobby Bovaird wanted to do something special to recognize those Wildcats who came
before him.

So, he decided to start the Louisburg High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in hopes of honoring those who have left their mark with the program. Bovaird figured what better place to start than the forefathers of Louisburg wrestling.

Before the championship matches of
the Wildcat Classic on Saturday at Louisburg High School, Bovaird introduced
the two first members of the hall of fame – and not ironically – they were the
first coaches in the program’s long history.

Don Meek, the program’s founder
and first head coach, along with long time coach Dee Graham were recognized in
front of the Louisburg faithful and were presented with plaques to commemorate
their hall of fame induction.

“I’ve been in contact with them throughout the years I’ve been at
Louisburg, and I’ve always had the notion of honoring them at our home
tournament — the tournament that Don Meek started in 1971 and the tournament
that both Don and Dee Graham won multiple times during their tenures as head
coach,” Bovaird said. “Having them present at the tournament was pretty
special, but I think one of the most amazing things was the gratitude, respect,
and love I saw expressed for both coaches at the tournament and through social
media afterwards.

“These guys were integral in the legacy that LHS wrestling is built
upon, but more importantly, they touched a lot of lives beyond the wrestling
mats. I hope our wrestlers recognize the tradition that these men established
and that it helps bolster their pride in the program.”

During the 1969-70 school year, Meek began the LHS wrestling program and served as head coach from 1969 until 1977, when he retired from coaching to take on full-time administrative duties.

As the head coach, Meek took a team that was 0-8 in its first season to
an undefeated Jayhawk League championship the next year. The Wildcats were also
Jayhawk champions in 1972 and 1974.

Louisburg was the Class 2A district runner-up in 1971, 1972 and 1973 and Meek coached one state champion and 31 state qualifiers during his tenure as head coach.

Graham, who served as an assistant coach under Meek, took over head
coaching duties in 1977 before retiring in 1999.

In his time as head coach, Graham notched more than 100 dual wins. The Wildcats
were Jayhawk League champions in 1983 and Frontier League champions in 1984,
1997 and 1998.

Louisburg was the Class 4A regional runner-up in 1980 and Graham coached
two state champions in Tim Dozier and Sonny Ewalt, along with nine state
medalists and 68 state qualifiers.

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