By Michael Smith
Before his wrestling matches, Fort Osage grad Elias Vaoifi tried to get himself angry.
When he wrestled at Fort Osage and during his redshirt freshman year at Missouri Valley College, he said he often listened to rap music before he matches.
In high school, Vaoifi was a state medalist and a state runner-up. During his first year at Missouri Valley, he qualified for the NAIA Men’s Wrestling Championships but didn’t place. At that point, wrestling was everything to him.
Then his sophomore year, everything changed. His girlfriend Josephine Boutte, also a Fort Osage grad, introduced him to Christianity. He started focusing more on his faith and used wrestling as his vehicle to share it. Vaoifi started listening to Christian music and focused more on having fun with the sport.
“She helped me see that Jesus is a big God and he cares about me,” Vaoifi said of Boutte.