Jim Stockert leaves his mark in the community

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Former wrestling coach of Fruita Monument High School Jim Stockert passed away a few weeks ago after suffering a massive stroke, and Saturday morning Fruita High School will host a memorial service honoring the coach of over 30 years.

His former athletes and close friends know his legacy will always be remembered.

"There were several of his former wrestlers that were coaching at every single school in the Valley here," said Brian Rush, a two-time state champion under Coach Stockert. "It just shows you the type of leader and coach he was."

"We definitely entered the 2014 year with a heavy heart here at Fruita Monument with the loss of Jim, but we also want to celebrate all of his accomplishments and what he did here in his 30 plus years," said Todd McClaskey, an assistant coach to Jim for two seasons.

Jim Stockers was a familiar name throughout the community. He took on a successful Fruita wrestling program fresh out of college, and he continued that Wildcat tradition for over 30 years.

"From when I first met him from day one to when he was done coaching, he just still had the same enthusiasm," said Rush. "He was always excited about it and it was neat to see someone like this sport like he did."

And for Coach Stockert, he was never solely focused on the wins.

"What made him so successful was how much he cared about his wrestlers, and his students, and the Fruita Monument family," said McClaskey. "He was really, in many ways, the face of Fruita Monument for a long time."

Under his leadership, Fruita Monument produced over 70 medalists, 11 of those earning state titles. In 1982 the team took home a 3A state title, but even after he resigned in 2010, he wasn't done.

"Even when he was finished with coaching you would see him at the regional tournaments, state tournaments, local tournaments around here," said Rush.

And now, the impact Coach Jim Stockert made will never be forgotten.

"His legacy will live on here in the halls, in the wrestling room, the gymnasium at Fruita Monument High School forever," said McClaskey.

The memorial service will be held at Fruita Monument High School's gymnasium at 11:00 AM Saturday morning, January 18th.

Read the original version of this article at www.nbc11news.com.

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