EATON — The Eaton High School varsity wrestling program has hosted its own invitational for the past 45 years and will add a 46th year this weekend (Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29-30) — but with one twist.
The tournament will officially be renamed to honor former coach and administrator Sam Ridder.
Prior to the start of the tournament finals on Saturday, Jan. 30, a special presentation will be held to formally rename the event the Eaton “Sam Ridder” Invitational. The finals are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Ridder began his teaching and coaching career in the Eaton Community School District in 1962 after graduating from Miami University where he earned a degree in education. Ridder went on to earn his Masters Degree in Education from Central State University in 1971. While attending Miami University, he was a member of the football and wrestling teams. From 1962 through 1965, he taught health and physical education and served as an assistant football coach and head wrestling coach for the Eaton Community School District. It was during this time he introduced elementary physical education to the school district.
In 1966, Ridder accepted an opportunity to teach health and physical education and serve as an assistant football coach and head wrestling coach at Springfield North High School, positions he held through the 1968 school year.
Ridder returned to Eaton Community Schools in 1969, and served for 23 years until 1992. Over those 23 years, he served as a physical education teacher, head football coach, head wrestling coach, athletic director, assistant principal and Eaton High School Principal.
Twenty-one schools will participate in this year’s event which will be held in the Eaton High School gymnasium beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and resuming at 10 a.m Saturday.
Admission: Friday-only session: $5; Saturday all-day session: $8; Saturday morning session only: $5; Saturday afternoon session only: $5; all-session passes: $12.