I had the honor of sitting down with UNI’s redshirt sophomore, heavyweight Carter Isley. He has an older brother, Spencer, and a younger sister, Hannah, who is a freshman on UNI’s softball team. When Isley attended high school in Albia, he was a four-time place winner, a three-time state finalist, and a two-time state champion. He also was a successful running back on the football team.

Before UNI

Q: Who got you into wrestling?

A: My parents, but my father mostly. I had a lot of energy as a kid and wrestling helped me calm down.  My dad also wrestled in high school at Knoxville.

Q: So far, what has been your favorite moment in your entire wrestling career?

A: The one memory that I will remember for the rest of my life was right after I won my first state title junior year. I vividly remember running up the stairs of Wells Fargo Arena to my family. I could see how proud they were of me, and I hugged them so tight.

Q: What made you want to become part of the Panther Train?

A: This place is home, every time I make it back to Cedar Falls I know it is home. Our coaches really strive to grow us as men and make us all feel included. I know other places leave you to do it all on your own. I know that I would not be as successful anywhere but UNI. This place truly has given me the best chance to become a national champion.

Time at UNI

Q: What was the most surprising difference between high school and college wrestling?

A: In college, every match is a grind. You have to fight every second of the match and there can be no let up in your intensity. Now, in high school, most of my opponents were scared to step up to the line. But now in college it is a whole other level. These guys don’t care about your credentials, they are tough and ready to scrap hard all match long.

Q: How does the crowd affect you when you compete in West Gym?

A: When I do something exciting, the crowd explodes; it is an amazing feeling. If I lose, I still feel loved by the crowd. They are more than fans really, they are more like family.

Q: What do you love most about wrestling?

A: The best part about wrestling are the bonds you make along the way. Some of the people I have met will be brothers for the rest of my life.

Career and Life Goals

Q: What is your major?

A: Physical education with a minor in health.

Q: What is your plan after UNI?

A: I plan on getting a master’s in educational administration. But while I do that, I want to be a physical education teacher and coach wrestling or football. Eventually, I will work toward becoming an athletic director or a principal. Most important, I want to stay in Iowa near my family, so when I someday have kids they will have a great connection with their grandparents.

Extra Questions

Q: If you could give a piece of advice to any young wrestlers, what would it be?

A: I would tell them what my football coach at Albia told me all the time: Tough times don’t last, tough people do. Toughness is one of the most important values in wrestling and life.

Q: Besides wrestling, what else do you do with your time?

A: I like to hang out with my teammates, going out to eat, watching movies, playing Fortnite, and going out to eat. Wait, did I say going out to eat twice?


Make sure to check out Carter Isley’s roster profile here

Also give Carter Isley a follow on Twitter: @Carter36isley and on Instagram at carter285isley

Hope you enjoyed reading the post. And I hope you will enjoy this post about Izaak Shedenhelm as well!


2 Thoughts to “An Allstar from Albia: Carter Isley”

  1. I met Carters family last year at the Big-12s. They were eating breakfast and staying at the same motel as my daughter and I . What a neat bunch… Rough em up Carter !

  2. Carter is an amazing athlete and competitor on and off the mat. No doubt in my mind he will do great things and be very successful in life. I really admire his bravery in proudly displaying his chest hair on the mat. I believe that itself tells you a lot of his character. #teamchesthair.

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