“When an official is on the mat, he must realize that for those two wrestlers, this is the most important match of their lives.” No matter the level of competition, Jim Ayers practiced and promoted that philosophy while officiating matches for 37 years and continuing for another 12 years in supervisory roles at the state wrestling championships. He started with junior varsity matches. He worked state and district meets from 1976 to 2007. A highlight was officiating the first state final in 45 years that produced a four-time state champion, Donny Nordhues of Greeley, in 1995. He has been inducted into the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association and the Special Olympics Nebraska Halls of Fame.