Isaiah Patton, a West Des Moines native, joined the Panther Train by way of Dowling Catholic High School. This season Isaiah will be a redshirt junior competing at 157 pounds. During his prep career, Isaiah placed at state four times and was crowned twice as state champion. Besides success in wrestling, Patton also won two state titles in football as the running back and outside linebacker for Dowling. Through Isaiah’s 11-year journey of wrestling, he has gained a different outlook on life and the sport.
Q: Can you describe your experiences on the football and wrestling team at Dowling?
A: On the football team, I found a lot of success playing on both sides of the ball as the outside linebacker and the running back. I was pulled up as a freshman to play on varsity as well. I liked being a part of the football team, but you could not get as close with all your teammates because the team was huge, unlike wrestling. Also the relationship with the community seemed to be more on the surface, unlike in wrestling where you get really deeply connected with the fans and your team. Overall I liked football because it was a whole team effort, and for the wrestling team at Dowling we were close, but the team I am on now is a lot closer.
Q: Who introduced you to the sport of wrestling?
A: Well, I would say my mom got me started with a club. But the main reason was because my cousins, who also wrestled, would always pick on me. So my mom got me to wrestle to hold my own against them.
Q: What made you come to the University of Northern Iowa to wrestle?
A: I came to UNI because of the atmosphere. It is always a group effort, or more like a band of brothers working towards our common goal of being national champions. The coaches are incredible and truly care about each and every one of us. Also the team members are great young men each in their own ways. Overall the University of Northern Iowa has been the best place for me to grow towards the best version of myself.
Time at UNI
Q: What is your major?
A: I am majoring in photography.
Q: Why did you choose photography as a major?
A: I just know I am an artist, and it has been a desire to follow a passion of mine. Most important, photography allows me to capture parts of peoples internal qualities that make them characteristically unique in themselves.
Q: What is it like to compete in front of the crowd at West Gym?
A: It is truly a unique experience, only 10 men get to go out there to perform during the meets. It gets you pumped up to know that the crowd gets to see you perform for something you have been working so hard for.
Q: Why would you say the UNI wrestling community so important?
A: The community helps drive our success. From all their support, they help create the most intimidating gym to wrestle in the whole country. Our supporters always attend dual meets and are responsible for creating such a great environment.
Career and Life Goals
Q: What are your plans once you graduate from UNI?
A: I really want to go to grad school and continue to study photography, but I am not sure where I will attend just yet.
Q: What are your views on having a family some day?
A: I am so pumped to have a family. I want to be the best husband and father I can be. I feel like love is something I strongly stand for. By having a family, I will be able to spread my love toward my future wife and children.
Q: What are your goals for yourself in terms of your career?
A: I see myself continuing my work in the field of art. My goal is to constantly create and add to the world through displaying my work.
Q:What has been your favorite thing about wrestling?
A: I have a pretty different outlook on the sport, I would say. Wrestling truly is an art. The technique that is used needs to be beautifully performed in order to have success. Also I admire how it’s two people going to battle, and you know both of the competitors have a lot of emotion in the sport. Wrestling requires the highest amount of discipline, and that reminds me of what it takes to make a great piece of art.
Q: What else do you do in your free time?
A: I am always trying to learn new things. Currently, I am learning how to play guitar, as playing it is one of my favorite past times. Besides that, I watch some Netflix. On Hulu, I am starting to watch more “Rick and Morty.” I also enjoy reading a ton.
Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to student-athletes?
A: Really only continue to compete if you really love it. In college you have roughly four years, which is a super short time, so you’re going to want to enjoy your time at college. Also I would say you need to pursue goals outside of sports, because this is the best time to grow as a person. An easy way to do this is by trying new things, because may find something extremely special in your life.
If you would want to give a look at Isaiah Patton’s UNI wrestling profile you may do so here.
Check out his photography website to be able to check out his work and contact him for shoots!
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