Sam Weldon (1943)
Sam Weldon, a 1943 graduate, was a
leader on two of the great Champaign wrestling teams of the 1940's. As a
senior, he captained the team that won the Big 12 and sectional title
and finished second by one point to Proviso. He won the 135-pound state
title, but he wrestled in the 155-pound division throughout the regular
season and was undefeated in dual meets. "I was physically strong,"
Weldon said, trying to explain how he beat opponents 20 pounds heavier.
"But I couldn't overpower them, so I tied them up and stayed on top of
them, riding them like a snake. They were sure frustrated to see a small
guy like me tying them in knots and pushing them around." In football,
Weldon was a two-year letterman who led the Maroons in scoring as a
senior and ran back a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown against Mattoon.
The Maroons finished 7-2, third behind Big 12 co-champions Urbana and
Bloomington, that campaign. Weldon also won three letters in track. As a
senior, he was part of an 880 relay team that finished fourth in the