Healthier Lifestyle Curriculum Pays Off for Iowa High School's Wrestling Team

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EAGLE, IDAHO, MARCH 16, 2006 - Thanks in part to a healthy lifestyle program instituted last summer, the wrestling team at Saydel High School in Des, Moines, Iowa is busy celebrating its first wrestling conference championship in the school's history.

Last July the assistant principal at Saydel, Brian Phillips, had a brainstorm and decided that the school's football team needed to work on its eating habits. Phillips called Kingston & Associates Marketing in Idaho and the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). Soon, the school started to receive huge pallets of Idaho Potatoes - in the end, close to 6,000 pounds of the complex carbohydrate spuds were shared with the team.

Along with the potatoes, which the students could take home and prepare however they liked, weightlifting classes were added to the training. Rounding out the "healthy lifestyle" curriculum were health classes emphasizing healthy eating habits. The football team went on to have its most successful season in its history.

As many of the same students followed the football season by moving onto the wrestling team, Phillips thinks this is one major reason why the team made history with its championship win. In fact two of the wrestling team's stars, Chris Vaughn (18) and Zeb Ihnen (18), both played on the football team and according to Phillips benefited from the healthy lifestyle program.

"The last potato shipment was October, 2005, but by then the students and their families were encouraged (if they weren't already) to maintain the healthy eating habits and smart meal planning past the fall football season," said Phillips. "Anecdotally, we know that our Saydel families have benefited tremendously from this program. Statistically, we are absolutely certain that 2006 has thus far been our most winning season in our school's entire history. That says something."

According to the potato supplier, Kingston, and the IPC, which is devoted to educating the public about the benefits of Idaho Potatoes, the story is another clear-cut illustration of the "power of potatoes."

"Potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse and the complex carbohydrates they deliver add critical fuel to the brain and the body," said Frank Muir, President/CEO, IPC. "We hope that these successful student athletes continue their winning ways during the rest of their high school years and into their future lives."

So too does Phillips. And, as he says, "Baseball season is around the corner and we're on a roll. We're confident that this positive momentum will continue!"

Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don't realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the "Grown In Idaho" seal. Both Idaho® Potatoes and the "Grown in Idaho®" seal are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.