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Casey Swiderski of Iowa State wrestling.
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Hunting Runs Deep In The Swiderski Family

After Bringing In All-American Honors In The 2024 NCAA National Championships, Swiderski Discusses His Family’s Hobby That Just Happens To Pay The Bills.

Dundee, Michigan’s own Casey Swiderski has made a seamless transition into Iowa State’s powerhouse wrestling program since his arrival as a freshman in 2022. The 2022 Michigan Wrestling Association’s Mr. Wrestler award winner will step into the NCAA Championships as the eighth seed, looking to make a statement to end his sophomore campaign.

As all athletes should, Swiderski diverts his attention from wrestling with a hobby: hunting.

“Where I come from, that’s what we do,” Swiderski said. “In [Michigan], what we do is hunt. My dad has the dog business for hunting dogs and yeah, we hunt everything. It’s what we’ve always done.”

Having to be away from his home state for the academic year, Swiderski is lucky enough to be in another hunting-friendly state and makes sure to bring his hometown hobbies to Iowa State’s wrestling room.

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As it turns out though, not everybody in Ames is as handy with a shotgun as Swiderski.

“I took a couple guys out duck hunting here,” Swiderski said. “I took up [Julien] Broderson this year and I took [Brent] Metcalf goose hunting last year. I went pheasant hunting with [Derek] St. John last year. I took a couple guys bird hunting because they’ve never done it before. I took Zach Redding, New York boy, I took him to shoot skeet one time and he couldn’t hit water if he was on a boat.”

Few people in the world truly get a chance to do what they love and luckily enough for the Swiderski family, their hobby is more of a lifestyle. Dundee is home to Hunter’s Rose Kennel, the Swiderski family business that specializes in breeding and training hunting dogs.

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“We mainly do Labs but whatever you’re looking for, I think we can do,” Swiderski explains. “We have customer dogs who my dad trains and we have our own dogs, too, but he takes them to competition to basically build their stock. We not only train them, but we breed them; it’s a pretty good gig. It’s fascinating that a lot of guys like to go out there and hunt the pheasants just to kill, but a lot of times it’s just for the dog. We love watching the dog work. My main thing is watching the dog work and live up to its training and just be a saint out there and in the house. You know they’re not running around tearing stuff up and whatnot.”

The family expertise in training dogs may seem irrelevant to Swiderski’s wrestling success, but his dad would strongly disagree.

“He compares almost all of it to dogs, a lot of the same training, in a sense,” Swiderski explained. “Some dogs differ in training. Some dogs are really good in training but when the competition comes down to it, they fall apart. Some dogs are terrible in training and they hate it. They play the game and when competition comes, they’re rockstars. He compares a lot of it to wrestling. It’s got a good comparison to each other and it’s a lot alike. My dad would chew your ear off about it.”

It's pretty safe to say that the Swiderski’s know how to produce winners. Whether it’s on the mat or in kennel, winning is the family motto.

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