Gregg Greeno becomes second Greeno to be inducted into JHS HoF

Sep. 16—JAMESTOWN — One by one, the Jamestown High School Hall of Fame has been contacting members of the Greeno family.

Gregg Greeno was the one who fielded the second call the committee put out.

"Marney Shirley called me to notify me of the honor," Greeno said. "I was happy and honored to be considered for that. my older brother got inducted a few years ago but I think I got inducted into the Jamestown College's Hall of Fame before him so that's kind of fun."

Greeno is one of the three Jamestown High School Hall of Fame Class of 2023 inductees. Greeno, along with fellow inductees Jim Reisnour and Justin Schweitzer and the 1996 boys and girls cross-country teams, will formally be inducted into the JHS Hall of Fame at the Homecoming Pep Rally at Jerry Meyer Arena on Sept. 22.

Greeno was a three-year letter winner in football, wrestling and track and field at Jamestown High School.

Greeno is the second child of the University of Jamestown's legendary coach Rollie Greeno Sr.

"I was real well-known (in Jamestown) because of my dad and being around the high school and the college, so when I moved to St. Michael-Albertville in Minnesota, I kind of had to make my own name because nobody cared that I was Greeno," Greeno said.

"But growing up, as I said, my dad had a lot of success and I had instant name recognition that I didn't really have to earn myself but hopefully I did a little bit of earning it myself."

Based on the five pages the Jamestown High School Hall of Fame committee printed out detailing his accolades, it's pretty clear Greeno did his fair share of the earning.

"Wrestling was kind of my sport," Greeno said. "My brother was kind of tall and skinny and I was kind of short and stockier and so my dad said to my brother 'you play basketball' and he said to me 'you wrestle.'"

"I was really small my sophomore year," he said. "I think my driver's license said 5-foot-1,105 (pounds) so I was going to do football and cross-country but my dad said 'no, you are not.'"

Good for dad.

During the winter, Greeno was a three-year starter for the Jamestown High School wrestling team. He was a North Dakota state champion in his senior year. He held a record of 29-3 his senior year. He was a team captain from 1971-1973.

"It was really fun," Greeno said. "My senior year, me and my best friend Rick Lee were state champs and another really good friend, Clay Kendall, who was a junior, was also a state champ that year."

Prior to 1973, there hadn't been more than one state champion in the history of the Jamestown High School wrestling program.

"That was a really fun time," Greeno said of his state championship match. "I beat Ron Meyer from Minot Ryan High School. He was a junior, I was a senior and he was an undefeated state champ the following year. I ended up wrestling him three times in my life — twice in high school and once in college in the conference finals. I beat him all three times.

"I am kind of goofy like that," he said. "I remember probably all of my matches and the scores and who I wrestled but I don't remember, the day after Christmas, who I got this shirt from so I don't know what's wrong with my priorities."

While wrestling was where his heart lay, Greeno's natural talent led to many more accolades in his other two sports.

"We had a really outstanding football team when I was a junior," Greeno said. "(My brother) is just a year older than I am so in both high school and college he was the quarterback and I was the wide receiver so we connected on passes and even touchdowns. It was nice to have a big brother as a role model."

The year after Rollie graduated, JHS head football coach Larry Ukestad named Greeno a starter. He caught 37 passes for 251 yards to lead the EDC his senior year. Greeno had a 26-yard average in punt returns. He made 11 punt returns.

He was also a team captain in his senior season. Greeno was an all-EDC wide receiver and free safety winner and a Forum of Fargo-Moorhead All-State wide receiver.

As for track and field, Greeno placed sixth in pole vault at the 1973 Indoor State Meet. He was the team captain his senior season and received the Jerry Knobel Award. The former standout was named the most conscientious athlete of Jamestown High School in 1973.

After receiving his diploma in the spring of 1973, Greeno went on to play football, wrestle, run track and cross-country at the University of Jamestown. He also played baseball for two years at the collegiate level.

Greeno became the first wrestler in UJ history to be named an NAIA All-American placing fourth at the NAIA National Tourney in 1976. At the next year's national tournament, Greeno placed sixth to earn a second All-American title.

Greeno was coached by his father in four of the sports he played in college.

"My dad was a really impactful coach — he had a lot of success but more importantly, he turned a lot of boys into men," Greeno said. "I enjoyed competing for my dad in four sports in college."

His dad wasn't the only impactful coach in Greeno's life and the JHS Class of 1973 alum is eager to connect with others who helped shape his athletic career.

"It will be fun to see my coaches — I loved my coaches at Jamestown," Greeno said. "Larry Ukestad, Joe Kroeber was a really good fit for me — a super great guy — and Lyle Hanson for track.

"I really enjoyed my time here," he said. "This is just a big honor."