CLASS OF 2019: Wrestling great Wade Sauer to be inducted into Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame | TheUnion.com

CLASS OF 2019: Wrestling great Wade Sauer to be inducted into Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame

While at Nevada Union Wade Sauer became the school’s first CIF State Champion when he won the heavyweight division in 2004. He was third in the state in the 215-pound class his junior year. Across his junior and senior seasons, Sauer went 104-5 in matches and won two league titles, two sub-section titles and a pair of Sac-Joaquin Section Championships (2003, 2004).
The Union file photo by Pico van Houtryve | The Union

For Wade Sauer there was only one goal — be the best.

With an unwavering determination to rise above all in his path, the 2004 Nevada Union graduate shined on the mat and put together one of the most decorated careers in Miners wrestling history.

“Sometimes in kids you can just see a fire,” said Steve Pilcher, who coached Sauer at Nevada Union. “Something that burns deep and where it comes from is different for different people, but Wade had it and you could tell he had it.”

While at Nevada Union the 6-foot, 6-inch, 200-plus pound Sauer became the school’s first CIF State Champion when he won the heavyweight division in 2004. He was third in the state in the 215-pound class his junior year. Across his junior and senior seasons, Sauer went 104-5 in matches and won two league titles, two sub-section titles and a pair of Sac-Joaquin Section Championships (2003, 2004). He was an All-American in both his junior and senior seasons and the Miners team MVP in 2004.

“His conditioning was incredible,” said Pilcher. “His junior and senior years were just incredible.”

For his many accomplishments on the mat at Nevada Union and beyond, Sauer is being inducted into the Nevada Union Hall of Fame.

Sauer credited his coaches and his internal drive to win as the keys to his success.

“I had good coaches and I was very determined to be the best,” he said.

As for what he learned while competing at Nevada Union, “Be competitive in everything I do and always strive for perfection,” he said.

Sauer added it was wrestling that kept him focused in class and helped him get a higher education as well.

“Sports were my motivation to keep good grades,” he said. “And, ultimately my reason for going to college.”

Wrestling indeed got him to college, first at Fresno State and later at Cal State Fullerton. While at Fullerton, Sauer became an NCAA All-American after finishing sixth at the National Championships in 2007. He was also a Greco-Roman All-American and Freestyle All-American that year as well.

Going into the next season Sauer was ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 and No. 3 in the nation in his weight class. He was 27-4 that season and 9-0 in Pac-10 duals, but an injury ended his quest to be a national champion.

When Sauer looks back on his wrestling days, he said his greatest accomplishments were winning the state championship in high school and later becoming a NCAA Division I All-American.

Sauer graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in criminology.

What has always defined Sauer on the mat was his work ethic, dedication to the craft and his high standards.

“Hes a doer, not a talker. And, he’s got great character,” said Pilcher. “We’re really proud of what he accomplished on and off the mat. He turned into great human being.”

Sauer expressed gratitude for his parents and the coaches he’s had a long the way.

“They put a lot of time and effort into my success and I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.

Sauer added that his wrestling teams became like family to him over the years.

“My wrestling team became my second family and lately that family has come together again to support someone who was a big part of our team,” he said. “Rachael Morphew, now Rachael Pool is battling breast cancer and I would like to take my few minutes in the spotlight again to rally some more community support for her. Please see her gofundme.com page by searching “Rachael’s breast cancer battle.”

Sauer currently lives in Oregon where he works as a correctional officer.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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