MEEKER | Meeker High School English and history teacher Stryker Lane teaches only freshman for six periods a day. After those long days he continues to help students but this time through wrestling. Mr. Lane, as the students call him, only moved to Meeker this summer, but has effectively worked his way into the Meeker circle.
Luckily, small town living is not anything new to Stryker Lane, coming from a small community called Redvale, which neighbors Nucla, Colorado. With his father a Nucla wrestling coach, wrestling was Lane’s go-to sport. The sport ended up giving him great opportunities later on in life.
Lane was an accomplished wrestler all through high school, earning the Dave Schultz Award and being a three-time Colorado State champion. He also earned the title of Colorado High School Wrestler of the Year and the title of not having a point scored against him during his senior year.
Those accomplishments ultimately led him to get recruited by Cornell University for wrestling. “I thought I was pretty good coming out of high school, then I started wrestling D1 and realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was,” Lane said. After hard work, he got to the point where he was winning about 80% of his matches and was a one-time National College Athletics Association qualifier. While at Cornell he majored in developmental sociology with a minor in history, with no thought of becoming a teacher.
Coaching at high schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Manitou Springs, Colorado, as well as at the University of Northern Colorado led Lane to the idea of becoming a teacher. “I realized I really enjoyed working with high school kids and helping them achieve their goals,” he said. With his degree from Cornell, he decided to go back to school to get his master’s in education. “It ended up being one of the best decisions in my career,” he stated.
Before Lane found Meeker, he was a teacher in Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs. He heard of Meeker during his high school wrestling days and even had a connection to the town. Ben Quinn, the art teacher at MHS, coached Lane in middle school and also happened to be his art teacher in high school. Lane’s goal was always to make it back to the Western Slope. When Ben Quinn had recommended he try applying for the teaching position at MHS, he applied and got the job.
The small town atmosphere appealed to Lane when he and his girlfriend relocated to Meeker. They felt like they were a part of the community as soon as they moved here, and never got the feeling of being an outsider. Although they’ve missed some classic Meeker events, they look forward to experiencing more events Meeker will host this year.
By Sophia Goedert – Special to the Herald Times