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As a small-town Iowa kid, Drew Foster grew up calling for the game-winning shot in games of driveway basketball. He grew into an athlete who dreamed of getting it done in big spots, and while he got his hand raised on the NCAA stage, that glory followed a few painful moments.
In high school, Foster had goals of playing college football. During his junior year, he was part of a Mediapolis High School team that was favored to win state and had one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Due to an injury in the state semis, Foster, the backup QB, got the nod in the state championship game.
Foster explained on The Bader Show that the team lost the title game in a tight contest that came down to a Mediapolis Hail Mary. Foster's pass was picked off in one of three interceptions that day. Foster felt the disappointment of his whole community after that game.
A year later, Foster wrestled in the Iowa state finals but again fell short of achieving his goal of being a state champ when he lost to eventual UNI teammate Jacob Holschlag.
In his first year of varsity action at UNI, his work was not yet yielding the success he hoped to see. In fact, Foster had a 15-19 record and did not qualify for the NCAA Championships. He talked about the development that happened in his first year as a Panther.
Despite Foster's lack of early success, he kept believing in the process, in himself, and in his coaches, and as a sophomore, he earned All-American honors finishing seventh. His jump from a losing record to the NCAA podium is uncommon and demonstrates the unique ability Foster has to rapidly improve.
Still, the trials were not over for Foster as he went 1-2 at the NCAA Championships as a junior. Heading into his senior year, Foster was in the conversation to place for a second time, but Myles Martin was as big a favorite as anyone in the country. That didn't discourage him.
Foster explained that he believed he would win NCAAs enough that he was telling those close to him that he would be the national champ.
On the biggest stage and under the brightest lights, Foster did just that. The disappointment of losing in the state football and wrestling finals paled in comparison to winning that NCAA title. According to Foster, he only wished that he would have had the opportunity to beat Myles Martin, the prohibitive favorite, to further legitimize himself as the top man at 184.
As luck would have it, Foster will have the opportunity to wrestle Myles on Saturday in the first round of the FloWrestling 195lbs 8-man challenge. Martin owns two wins over Foster, but Foster has clearly demonstrated an ability to make massive improvements.
The chatter around Foster leading up to the event is a familiar story. He's the underdog. Nobody is predicting that he'll win. Foster has heard that story before. On Saturday night he'll have another chance for glory on a big stage, and this time, $20,000 is on the line.