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Reflections on the life of Deets Winslow

Wrestling communities in the Valley and throughout Northern California were jolted by the tragic death of Roger “Deets” Winslow, who was killed in a boating accident last Saturday, Aug. 9, at Lake Berryessa in Napa County.

It was shocking news to his family, and to the many people who knew and worked with Winslow in the Valley, especially at Sonoma Valley High School where he was a wrestling legend as both an athlete and longtime coach.

Winslow left a wrestling legacy that reverberated through California and into neighboring states. After establishing himself as a tough, technically efficient and highly competitive prep and college wrestling star, Winslow went on to become an accomplished high school coach, teacher and mentor at SVHS.

All sports have their unique cultures and fraternities of fans, but there exists in the world of wrestling a contagious passion for the sport that injects a sense of family into all its participants – the wrestlers, the coaches, the officials, the relatives and the fans.

This was Winslow’s world.

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