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|Scherr vs. Chaid is the new “Bout of the Week” on USA Wrestling's Audio/Video website|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling has updated its new "Bout of the Week" which has been posted as a video file on-line on TheMat.com Audio/Video website .
The feature this week is the Jim Scherr vs. Dan Chaid match at 90 kg/198 pounds at the 1986 U.S. National Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.
This bout featured a pair of young stars who had been college wrestling stars and were making a transition into major success in international freestyle wrestling. Both athletes would have an impact as athletes for another decade, and are still very important members of the U.S. wrestling community.
Jim Scherr was a high school wrestling star from South Dakota, who went along with his twin brother Bill to the Univ. of Nebraska. The brothers won national titles side-by-side in 1984 at the NCAA Championships held in the Meadowlands in New Jersey, Jim at 177 pounds and Bill at 190 pounds. Both were already successful and competitive freestyle wrestling on the national levels, already competing in the U.S. Nationals and Olympic Trials events while in college.
In 1985, their first full year on the international freestyle circuit, Jim Scherr competed at the 180.5 pound division, and Bill was up at 198 pounds. Bill was able to earn a spot on the 1995 U.S. World Team, and went on to claim a World gold medal for the United States. It was the first of five straight World-level medals won by Bill Scherr, achievements that would make him a Hall of Fame inductee in the future. Jim Scherr was in the same weight class as 1984 Olympic champion Mark Schultz, and it was Schultz who earned the spot for the U.S. team in 1985, and also won a World gold medal.
Dan Chaid was a high school wrestling star from California, who went to the Univ. of Oklahoma. Chaid was a sophomore in 1984, when Jim Scherr won his NCAA title, and he placed fourth at the nationals. In 1985, Dan Chaid won the NCAA title during his junior year. As a senior, Chaid placed second at the national tournament.
The next season in 1986, the Scherr brothers decided to change weight classes, with Bill jumping up to 220 pounds and Jim competing at 198 pounds. The idea for the move was to allow both brothers to make the U.S. freestyle teams.The 1986 U.S. Nationals was the first major freestyle event where both brothers were testing themselves at their new weight classes.
The match between Jim Scherr and Dan Chaid was a key bout at 198 pounds at the nationals. Jim Scherr went on to win the U.S. Nationals title, and Chaid was third. Up at 220 pounds, Bill Scherr was third, placing behind Dan Severn and Greg Gibson. Later that season, both Scherr brothers made the U.S. World Team, and competed at the World Championships side by side. Jim won a bronze medal and Jim Scherr won a silver medal.
Both Scherr and Chaid were prominent wrestlers for many more years, often competing against each other. Of the two, it was Jim Scherr who made news on the international level, while Dan Chaid was the wrestler who never quite had the opportunity to prove himself on the world scene.
Scherr was a three-time World medalist during his career, claiming World silver medals in 1987 and 1989 and a World bronze medal in 1986. He qualified for the 1988 Olympic team, placing fifth. He won three U.S. Nationals titles, and added two World Cup gold medals and a Pan American Championships.
In December 1990, Scherr was ranked No. 2 behind Chris Campbell at 198 pounds when he accepted the position as USA Wrestling's Executive Director, where he served in for 10 years. He had a brief comeback as a wrestler in 1996, taking a sabbatical from his USA Wrestling post to compete in the U.S. Nationals and Olympic Trials at 180.5 pounds. He fell short of his quest to make the team, and remained as Executive Director, where he led the organization through the 2000 Olympic Games.
In late 2000, Scherr accepted a position as the top Sports Performance executive at the U.S. Olympic Committee. Scherr became the acting CEO for the USOC in 2003, taking over the responsibility as the Chief Executive Officer, while continuing his duties as the Chief of Sports Performance. In 2005, Scherr was selected as the Chief Executive Officer for the USOC, and continues to be the top executive in the American Olympic movement today. His role at the USOC keeps Scherr involved with wrestling, especially in regards to the Olympic, Pan American and World level competition.
Chaid fell just short of making an Olympic team a number of times. He was second in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Trials, and third in the 1988 Olympic Trials. He also just fell short of making a U.S. World Team, placing second in the World Team Trials three times. Chaid was able to win a U.S. Nationals title in 1992, but was defeated in the Olympic Trials finals by Chris Campbell (who went on to claim a bronze medal).
After his Senior-level career ended, Chaid remained active in wrestling, both as a coach on the Senior level, as well as an athlete in the Veterans wrestling circles. It was in Veterans wrestling (for athletes over 35 years old) that Chaid finally achieved his international acclaim, winning the Veterans World Championships. Chaid is now in USA Wrestling's National Coaches Pool, and regularly coaches U.S. teams on tours, as well as working with athletes on the national level. He has been a high school wrestling coach in his native California in recent years.
This popular feature will be changed on a regular basis, allowing members to enjoy many of the greatest matches in wrestling history.
Posted in the archive section of the Members Only web page is the Kenny Monday against Nasyr Gadzhikanov match at 74 kg/163 lbs. at the 1989 World Grand Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Many other entertaining and historic matches are in the archive section for the Bout of the Week.