Wrestling runs in the Deere family | PostIndependent.com

Wrestling runs in the Deere family

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colorado ” When it comes to the Deere brothers, one thing never wavers: If you run into one of them, it won’t be long before you wander across the other two.

And, chances are, they’ll be somewhere near a wrestling mat.

Wrestling is the glue that bonds the Deere family, from the three brothers ” Kalvin, Kiefer and Keaton ” to parents Mike and Tina.

Kiefer, a senior, and Keaton, a sophomore, currently wrestle for Rifle High School. Kalvin is a first-year assistant coach for the Bears. And, as sure as the Deere brothers are a three-pack in most all they do, Mike and Tina are always perched in the stands at duals and tournaments, cheering on their flesh and blood.

“Wrestling, football, all sports are a big part of our family,” Mike said. “It’s a great way to keep our family involved together.”

It all started with Kalvin, a 2003 Rifle graduate who got his wrestling start in middle school. It didn’t take long for his younger brothers to follow big brother’s lead.

“They both started when I did,” Kalvin, who’s six years older than Kiefer and eight years older than Keaton, recalled. “It hooked all three of us. I started in the sixth grade.”

Each sibling developed an instant love for the sport. Their parents followed suit.

Mike, a native of football-rabid west Texas, played basketball growing up. Once initiated with wrestling through his sons, though, he wished he had been a grappler.

“We didn’t have a wrestling program,” he said. “I tell you right now, I wish they did.”

More than anything, Mike values what the sport’s done for his kids.

“Wrestling is the most valuable life-lesson sport,” he said. “I say that as a guy that loves football. At this point in my life, I would say wrestling, over football, for me as far as my love. What it does for the kids, it makes them capable of going out in the world and being successful. It teaches you to work hard, teaches you self-discipline. … You learn real fast that what you get out of it is exactly what you bring into it. That’s how life works.”

That’s not to say football isn’t a big part of the Deere family’s identity. All three brothers have taken the field for the Bears. And, just like with wrestling, Kalvin helped coach Rifle’s football team this school year.

Kalvin’s coached his brothers, in some capacity, for some time. As a youth, he helped coach the pee-wee program in Rifle. He never imagined coaching them both at the high school level, though.

“I was hoping I could come help at Rifle High School, but I did not foresee this coming so early,” he said. “I figured I’d just coach Keaton.”

But a vacancy opened this school year, bringing the three together for what’s been a magical season of Rifle wrestling.

“He was our football coach and now he’s our wrestling coach,” Keaton said with a laugh.

Keaton and Kiefer seem to enjoy their time together too.

“I like it better,” Kiefer said. “With Keaton, it gives me more incentive to win. I want him to do better than me, but at the same time I don’t. So we push each other to win.”

When they’re not pushing each other, big brother steps up and fills the void.

“I am harder on those two than I am on anyone else on the team,” said Kalvin, flashing a grin.

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