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Freddie Rodriguez named NJCAA Male Athlete of the Year

Iowa Lakes wrestling standout Freddie Rodriguez has been awarded the David Rowlands Male Athlete of the Year Award. This award is presented annually to the most distinguished male athlete in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Rodriguez is the first Iowa Lakes athlete ever to win the prestigious award. It is also the first time in the history of the award that it has been presented to a wrestler.

Freddie Rodriguez wrapped up a highly successful career at Iowa Lakes this past February when he claimed his second national championship. Along with his two national championships, he was named three times as Outstanding Wrestler at tournaments including the 2015 NJCAA National Tournament. As a freshman, he posted a record of 33-8 while only losing 3 matches his sophomore campaign on the way to a 38-3 record.  Amazingly, in two years, he only lost one match to another junior college wrestler.  His other losses were all to NCAA opponents.

Iowa Lakes Head Wrestling Coach Cody Alesch reflects on the significance of Rodriguez winning the award.

“It is a great sense of pride for Freddie, the program and the entire institution,” commented Alesch. “So many people at Iowa Lakes have a part of this award so it really just makes you excited for the College as a whole. As far as being the first wrestler to be chosen is great.  I know the type of sacrifices and lifestyles these young men have to live and so many are deserving of this award so it is a sense of pride for the sport to know others outside the sport saw the value in choosing to give the award to Freddie.”

Troy Larson, Athletic Director at Iowa Lakes, also had high praise for Rodriguez.

“Obviously this is an awesome award for Freddie,” remarked Larson. “To be named the David Rowlands Male Athlete of the Year in all of the NJCAA is the highest individual honor a male athlete can receive. Freddie trained unbelievably hard at Iowa Lakes while allowing himself to be coached. This work ethic and attitude led to two national championships.”

The full press release with more information can be found at

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Sam Mashburn Named Head Swimming and Diving Coach at Iowa Lakes

Sam MashburnTroy Larson, Director of Athletics at Iowa Lakes, announced that Sam Mashburn is the new Head Swimming and Diving Coach at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Mashburn is a native of Cumming, Ga.  He swam distance freestyle and backstroke at Mars Hill University in Mars Hill, N. C.

After graduation in 2010, Mashburn coached for various USA club swim teams in the Atlanta area. In 2012, he became the assistant swim coach for Union College where he coached the distance team. While there, Mashburn helped coached a distance team that finished in the top 8 at nationals in 2014.

For the past year, he worked at The American School Foundation as a physical education teacher and varsity swim coach. Two of his swimmers on his team qualified for the Mexican National Championship Meet.

Mashburn received his Master’s degree in Health/Physical Education from Union College in 2014.

“We are excited to have Sam as our head swimming and diving coach,” commented Larson.

“He comes to us with a great swimming background and knowledge of the sport. Sam cares deeply about student-athletes and their development. We have had great success in our swimming program and I am anxious to see our program continue to develop under Sam’s leadership.”

“I am excited and looking forward to this opportunity at Iowa Lakes,” said Mashburn. “I can’t wait for the season to start.”

For more information about the swimming and diving team and other athletics at Iowa Lakes Community College, visit


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