Joe Steffenhagen’s favorite place to be is on the mat. A former high school wrestler, Joe has always loved playing hard and competing, pushing himself to test his limits and do his best. That’s why he got into wrestling in the first place. The sport was introduced to Joe by his uncles, and although he has cerebral palsy, he found that it was a sport where he could meet a challenge and excel. His limp and the limited use of his right hand and arm have never stopped him from participating, and now that he’s graduated from college, the Minneapolis, MN man is giving back to the wrestling community that helped him thrive by spending time as a junior varsity referee for matches. His goal is to referee for varsity matches one day and perhaps even for the state tournament.
Joe says he’s always a little nervous before a match, worried that he may miss a call. But he’s excited to be at the forefront of helping young wrestlers better understand the sport because he loves the discipline and encouragement you can find in wrestling. “Anything that you can do in life you can do on a wrestling mat,” he says.