On the air with Kolten Strait
By Bob McDonnell
Kolten Strait, a sixth-grader at Berthoud’s Turner Middle School, is an active kid. He likes to swim and wants to be an engineer − probably a mechanical engineer − after attending the University of Iowa. Right now, the main focus in the young man’s life is wresting.
This interest in wrestling includes his role as sports broadcaster at Berthoud High School wresting meets. This happens through Berthoud resident Aaron Rath’s internet-based Overtime Sports Net, LLC. (www.otsn.net)
Kolten started wresting in kindergarten. When asked about his wresting affiliations, he rattles off a list that includes the Colorado Elite team in Berthoud and a team called Mile High in Broomfield.
Additionally, Kolten plays wide receiver, running back, and linebacker for his Berthoud Youth Athletics football team. He notes that in the summer he participates as a member of the Berthoud swim team, too. The Straits have a swimming pool in their back yard, and Kolton uses all his swimming activities to build endurance for wrestling.
“A wrestling fanatic,” is how his mother, Jill, labels him.
Kolten’s father, Dan Strait, assists his son. Dan wrestled growing up in Iowa and has been involved in youth wrestling since 2008. The elder Strait’s Iowa roots may explain why Kolton’s wresting idol is Dan Gable.
For the uninformed, Gable’s collegiate wresting feats are legendary in the state of Iowa. The Waterloo, Iowa, native continued on with wrestling, winning gold in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Last year, when Kolton’s school assignment included researching and dressing as a famous person, it was no surprise he picked Gable.
A couple of years ago, Kolten tagged along when his mother took his sister Lily to Girl Scout meetings at Toni Rath’s house. While he waited, Kolten and Toni’s husband Aaron talked sports. Rath broadcasts Berthoud High School home sporting events for all sports except tennis, golf and track.
His online sports show air via the Internet at www.otsn.net.
Once Kolten, then a fourth grader, found out about the wresting broadcasting, he became interested in helping out. Rath remembers Kolten asking to be a part of the broadcast team. Rath, who has a broadcast partner for other sports, agreed. A self-described neophyte when it comes to wrestling terminology and strategy, Rath calls Kolten a “wrestling expert.”
During the wrestling matches, Kolten takes the lead. In a recent broadcast he explained the individual and team scoring in wrestling. Then he launched into a play-by-play of each match. His vocal pace quickens as the action heats up. When a Berthoud wrestler gets scored on, Kolten can’t hold back an editorial, “Ah, darn it,” or “Oh, shoot.”
When quizzed on the attributes of a good announcer, Kolten listed good vocabulary, hard work, determination, and knowledge of the sport and the participants.
Rath mentioned Kolten’s enthusiasm during the broadcasts. Besides learning more about wrestling in general, Rath states that Kolten teaches him to be enthusiastic.
Kolten’s goal this year includes expanding his vocabulary on air and off. His announcing partner teases him about the use or overuse of Kolten’s favorite term − “beast.” Kolten says beastly attributes include striving for greatness and working hard.
The outlook for the BHS wrestling team is good, according the sixth-grader who is wise beyond his years − at least in wrestling. He sees Jimmy Fate repeating as a state champ, especially since Berthoud now competes at the 3A level instead of 4A. Kolten likes the performances of Chad Ellis and Ben Poirer, too.
A tough competitor, Kolten is also a team player. He quickly acknowledged the broadcast mentoring from Rath and the opportunity to do what many his age would not have is not lost on the youngster.
Kolten looks forward to entering high school and continuing with the BHS wrestling team instead of in the stands and on the air. In the meantime, look for Kolten to be wearing a headset in front of a microphone.
“He’s on the air with me until he is on the mat,” said Rath.
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