Former Ohio State Buckeye wrestler and NCAA National Champion Nathan Tomasello will be one of Grace Community Church’s guest speakers on Sunday morning, Sept. 22. He will be joined by Jim Schmidtke, chaplain of the Columbus Crew Soccer Club and of the OSU football coaching staff.
Tomasello finished his storied career at OSU in 2018, having won four Big Ten Championships and he was also a four-time All-American. He was a national champion in his freshman year. Nathan entered his senior year with hopes of winning a second national championship but an early season knee injury caused many to think his season was over almost before it started. Showing the tenacity that had always helped him succeed on the wrestling mat, Nathan managed to overcome his injury and narrowly missed earning another national championship, finishing third in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
A highly-successful local wrestler, Miami Trace graduate Bryson Laytart, competed against Tomasello in Laytart’s freshman year when Tomasello was already a defending state champion. Laytart lost a decision to Tomasello and he recently recalled his experience: “The score was a lot closer than the actual match. He dominated me. He was one of the most physical wrestlers I ever faced.”
Justin Lanman, who coached wrestling at Miami Trace and today is vice principal of Miami Trace Elementary School, commented: “Nathan was the fiercest competitor I’ve ever watched. He was relentless on the mat. Every time he wrestled you knew you were seeing the best he had to offer. He always gives God the glory in his life.”
For all his success as an athlete, there is something far more important to Tomasello than wrestling, and that is what Lanman noticed about him. Tomasello is very open about his faith in God, and that part of his story is what he will be sharing at Grace Community Church on Sept. 22. Tomasello also enjoys meeting youth and high school wrestlers, along with their coaches and parents.
Immediately after the service a lunch will be served in Grace Community’s Upper Room Café so that Tomasello can personally interact with members of the area wrestling community. Any guests who would like to join for lunch are requested to call the Grace office at (740) 333-5433 to reserve seats. There is no charge for the meal.
Tomasello will be sharing the speaking platform with Jim Schmidtke. Among his many duties, Jim leads the chaplaincy program for all 24 Major League Soccer teams and he leads Bible studies with many OSU coaches from a variety of sports. Lanman, who is a long-time friend, had this to say about Schmidtke: “Any time spent listening to or talking with Jim is a life changing experience. Jim is truly a man that is invested in other people. He uses his influence and resources to encourage people and to glorify God.”
Schmidtke will also be at lunch following the service and looks forward to meeting athletes, parents and coaches.
The service begins at 10 a.m. with lunch to follow immediately. Again, reservations for the free lunch can be made by calling the Grace Community Church office at (740) 333-5433 by 12 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. If you reach voicemail, please leave a name, phone number and a message and someone will return your call.
It will be a full day for Tomasello and Schmidtke as they are also afternoon guests of the churches of Fayette County. Together, they will be speaking at IMPACT, the community worship service that is part of the 2019 Scarecrow Festival. This year’s IMPACT service is being organized by Heritage Memorial Church on behalf of the entire community and everyone is invited to gather at the main stage for the 1 p.m. praise service.