Lamotte Boys Earn Honors At Father's Alma Mater


His chest swelled with pride as Payson High School teacher and coach Dave LaMotte watched his two sons wrestle their way to All-American honors.

What made the experience even more special was the fact both boys were participating for their father's alma mater West Liberty State in West Virginia.

"It was something my wife and I will never forget," LaMotte said.

The LaMotte brothers, 165-pound Jeff and 156-pound Matt, earned their prestigious All-American status by virtue of their top-eight finishes at the NCAA Division II National Wrestling championships held last week in Greeley, Colo.

The national tournament was the first time this season Dave and Vickie LaMotte had the opportunity to see their sons in collegiate wrestling action.

"We went back there (West Virginia) at Christmas but there was nothing scheduled for the holidays except practice," Dave LaMotte said.

Jeff, a junior at West Liberty State in West Virginia, qualified for the national match with a fourth-place finish in the East regional tournament.

Matt, a sophomore athletically and a junior academically, earned the right to participate in nationals with a fourth-place showing in the regional tournament.

In the first round of the national showdown, both Jeff and Matt had the misfortune of drawing regional champions and were defeated. But, Jeff rebounded to finish with a 3-2 record and finished seventh nationally. Matt recovered to compile a 2-3 mark and earn eighth-place honors.

In addition to their All-American wrestling laurels, the pair were also recently named Division II Academic All-Americans. As a criminal justice major, Matt who served two tours of military duty during the Gulf War maintains a 3.8 grade point average.

An education major who hopes to someday coach, Jeff has a 3.5 GPA.

At West Liberty State, both LaMottes are coached by the same man Vince Monseau who coached their father in college.

"(Monseau) was a great influence in my life. He's one of the big reasons we wanted to get both boys (at West Liberty)," Dave LaMotte said.

During his stint at West Liberty which began in 1973 but was interrupted by a stint in the military Dave LaMotte was a two-time 150-pound NAIA All-American and National champion (1978-79).

Official records are not kept, but Dave LaMotte suspects he and his sons might be the only father-sons to earn collegiate All-American honors for the same coach at the same school.

A 1998 graduate of Payson High School, Jeff LaMotte paced the Longhorns to the Class 3A Arizona championship by winning the state title in his weight class.

He was later named an Arizona Coaches Association All-Star.

Matt is a graduate of Gilbert High School, where he was a two-time Class 5A state champion.

The duo competed their freshman years at Phoenix College, before earning scholarships to West Liberty.

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