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CJ Walrath makes Kolter Thomson's wish come true

CJ Walrath-Kolter Thomson

Notre Dame-West Burlington senior CJ Walrath (left) works with Morning Sun second grader Kolter Thomson during a practice in Mediapolis.

Walrath moves

Notre Dame-West Burlington senior CJ Walrath (left) works with Morning Sun second grader Kolter Thomson (right) during a recent Pee Wee wrestling practice at Mediapolis.

Kolter Thomson letter

Morning Sun second grader Kolter Thomson wrote a letter about Notre Dame-West Burlington high school wrestler CJ Walrath.

As Notre Dame-West Burlington senior CJ Walrath won a second straight state wrestling championship, he was so zoned in that he didn’t realize what an impact he was having.

Kolter Thomson, the son of Ben and Juli Thomson, had been watching Walrath’s every move all season.

Thomson, a second grader at Morning Sun Elementary School, became so enamored with Walrath that it became his dream to one day meet him.

So when Thomson’s class was given a project by Morning Sun Principal Steve Hollan to write a persuasive letter concerning something that would improve the school, Thomson wrote about bringing Walrath to school.

Kolter Thomson recently received his wish.

He not only met Walrath, but learned a few lessons from him.

Walrath was informed about the letter Kolter had written and made arrangements to meet Thomson at Mediapolis High School at a practice prior to the AAU state tournament.

It was a day neither Kolter Thomson nor Walrath will soon forget.

“That really made his day,” Juli Thomson said. “CJ even went and wrestled with Kolter’s group at practice. He even got on the mat and showed Kolter a few moves. It was awesome for Kolter.”

“I want to be the best mentor I can be,” Walrath said. “My parents told me for years that people were looking up to me. I never saw it until now. I really have to watch what I say and do because there are always little kids around watching me. I want to do it to please the Lord.”

It all started with a quadrangular with New London, Wapello, Columbus/Winfield-Mount Union and Notre Dame-West Burlington. The Thomsons went to the meet to watch Kolter’s older brother, Bowen, a freshman for Columbus/W-MU.

“Kolter was just awestruck with CJ,” Juli Thomson said. “Kolter thought he was just the coolest guy in the world.”

At the Fort Madison Invitational just before the Christmas break, Juli went to look for Kolter and he was nowhere to be found.

She later spotted him on the corner of the mat with ND-WB assistant coach John Siegel watching Walrath’s match.

“I thought he went down to see Mr. Siegel, but he was staring at CJ on the mat,” Juli Thomson said. “I noticed that wherever CJ was that day, Kolter was right there at the side of the mat watching him. Mr. Siegel took him over to meet CJ. That really made his day.”

“I didn’t see him at first, but he was sitting on the corner of the mat when I was wrestling,” Walrath said. “Mr. Siegel brought him over and I talked with him a little while.”

When Kolter wrote his letter, his mother “had no idea what Kolter was writing about.”

“Kolter wanted CJ to come to school with him because he is a champion and other kids can learn from him,” Juli Thomson said. “He said CJ never gets mad when he wrestles. He wanted to show the other kids that he never gets mad.”

Siegel showed Kolter’s letter to Walrath and the ND-WB state champion agreed to come to practice at Mediapolis to fulfill Kolter’s wish.

“Ben told Kolter they were having practices at Wapello and Mediapolis and asked him which practice he wanted to go to,” Juli Thomson said. “Kolter wanted to go to Wapello because that’s where a lot of his friends were going. Ben said, ‘Are you sure? I heard CJ Walrath is coming to Mediapolis practice.’ Kolter’s face just lit up. ‘Is CJ really going to practice at Mediapolis?’”

When Kolter Thomson learned that Walrath, a University of Northern Iowa wrestling recruit, is an avid hunter and fisherman, that made him love Walrath all the more.

Thomson took the lessons Walrath gave him to heart. He went 4-2 at 52 pounds at the Iowa AAU Super Peewee State Tournament in Waterloo.

He missed placing by one match.

“Ben said he never saw Kolter wrestle so hard in practice,” Juli Thomson said.

“Kolter just loves CJ. He thinks they are twins.”