FAIRFIELD – Fairfield’s Trojan Stadium will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, August 26 in honor of the Ralph and Linda Messerli family.
The ceremony will take place between freshman and college football games that night between the Fairfield Trojans and Mt. Pleasant Panthers. At the end of the freshman game, around 6:30 p.m. or shortly after, family members Ralph and Linda Messerli will be called upon to appear on the track. At that time, the school will recognize the family and dedicate the new FHS wrestling facility in their honor, which will be called “Ralph & Linda Messerli Family Wrestling Facility”.
After the ceremony, the cake will be served at the Trojan Plaza to the west of the house bleachers. The wrestling facility will be open to the public for viewing. For those wishing to continue socializing after the game, the Messerli family will head to the Fairfield Elks on the west side of the square.
In a letter that Jeff Courtright, Fairfield’s operations manager, sent to the Messerli family, he wrote that the district was honored to be involved in this “well-deserved recognition.”
“This recognition will be the culmination of much hard work, passion and commitment from your family,” Courtright wrote. “We are very happy to share this day with all of you.”
Ralph worked at Fairfield High School for 38 years as a counselor, wrestling and football coach, and served as the high school principal for his final 25 years in the district. Linda worked at Pence Elementary School for 25 years as an elementary school teacher’s aide and secretary. She was also a founding member of “Mat Moms”, a support group for wrestlers to help with expenses.
Ralph coached wrestling at Northwest Missouri State University, his alma mater, and at Cardinal High School, Fairfield High School and Parsons College. He was a wrestling official for 25 years at the high school and college levels, and was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Hall of Fame. He was inducted as one of the original members of the Northwest Missouri State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1962.
Ralph and Linda retired in 2003, but remained active in community organizations. Ralph served on the school board for four years, after which he, Linda and Greg and June Lowenberg chaired the committee responsible for the $14 million high school renovation project that included upgrades to science, music, in the gymnasium foyer, a new elevator and the new wrestling facility.
The Messerlis’ three children – David, Darin and Dana – have been involved in school activities throughout their careers. After college, all three coached in their particular school systems. Dana (FHS Class of 1986) and Darin (FHS Class of 1983) are still involved in coaching activities while David (FHS Class of 1981), after 15 years of teaching and training at FHS, has changed hands. job and is now a full Colonel in the United States. Army National Guard. David will retire on November 30 after 30 years of service. He married an alumnus of FHS, Diane McIndoe, who was on the school’s 1983 state champion women’s basketball team. They have two daughters who are also FHS graduates.
Darin married Teresa Brown, another 1983 FHS graduate, and they have two children. Darin taught and coached wrestling and soccer in Bartlesville, Oklahoma for most of the 34 years he lived there.
Dana is married to Cedar Rapids Jefferson graduate Rod Miller, and they have four children. Dana teaches at Marion Elementary School where she also coaches mock trials, including teams that have won state and national titles.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at email@example.com
Fairfield High School’s wrestling facility will be dedicated to the Ralph and Linda Messerli family in a ceremony on Friday, August 26 at Trojan Stadium. (Andy Hallman/The Union)