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f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Bruce Thomas, SEMO State wrestler

Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at 12:00 AM

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Jan. 16, 1977 Southeast Missourian

SEMO State University's premier heavyweight wrestler, Bruce Thomas, left, and Maryville's Mike Papino square off in a match at Houck Field House Saturday afternoon. Thomas won the match. The Indian heavyweight won two matches Saturday, the second against Kirksville, to run his season's record to 10-1. The Indians lost both ends of the double-dual, 24-12 to Maryville, and 24-15 to Kirksville. Maryville won over Kirksville, 30-9. Indian Randy Roddy (190) won both of his matches. Don Moore (158), Rick Derby (150), Kent Gibb (118) and Jerry Conklin (177) each won one match. (Fred Lynch photo)

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Editor's note:

After starting his coaching and teaching career at Scott City High School, where he directed the wrestling program in 1977 and 1978, Thomas spent 26 years teaching for the Jackson Public Schools.

As Jackson High School's wrestling coach from 1982 through 1995, his teams compiled a 105-10-3 dual-match record -- including a 52-match winning streak -- while capturing eight district titles and five conference titles. His teams also earned numerous strong state finishes, including second place.

Read more about Bruce Thomas in this 2010 Southeast Missourian story by Marty Mishow:

Thomas among inductees for Southeast HOF

The university's wrestling program continued through 1981. According to the 1982 Sagamore yearbook, the wrestling program was dropped when the university's soccer program was elevated to varsity status.

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