14 January 2016

Wrestling class

In the sport of wrestling, "class" typically refers to a level of high-school competition or a weight category.  The Sioux City Journal documents another instance of "class" -
With the wrestling dual between Spencer and Estherville-Lincoln Central still in its early stages at Spencer Field House, Castro-Chavez stood behind Dan Hewitt, the Midgets' coach. The two of them suspected Spencer might not have a 220-pound wrestler for this match, as Roberts so solidly filled that spot in the lineup before his death on Dec. 19.
Roberts had won 14 matches to start his senior campaign, one that ended when he collapsed during the championship bout in the Spencer Tiger Invitational. He died a couple of hours later at Spencer Hospital.
Castro-Chavez was wrestling on the mat adjacent to Roberts' match that awful day. Castro-Chavez had lost to Roberts earlier in the season.
Still, he could have picked up a forfeit on Thursday, and put 6 points on the scoreboard for his team, which trailed Spencer, 22-3, at the time. Instead, he left his warm-ups on and his headgear tied to his waist. Rather than walk to the center of the mat to have his hand raised in victory by referee Bob Baxter, Castro-Chavez chose to [forfeit the match and] walk to the front row of the bleachers, where he hugged Austin Roberts' mother, Lori Roberts.
"I wanted to show Austin's family respect, because they are grieving," Castro-Chavez said. "I told Austin's mom that I wished I could wrestle Austin again, because he was such a good wrestler."
For those unfamiliar with the sport, this comment from the Reddit thread will help explain:
I think only people who wrestled in high school will understand the significance of this. For those that don't know, the rivalries in high school wrestling can be crazy intense. The good wrestlers are gonna be facing each other for 4 years at the sectional, regional, semi state, and state levels. I remember some of the best guys on the team going like 40-2 on the season and their only losses were to the same guys every single year. It says a lot about this kid to honor his rival like that.
Photo credit: Nate Shaughnessy.


  1. Damn you. I teared up while reading this. And I'm at work and have a hard-ass reputation to maintain.

  2. It's nice to see some real class in the world.

  3. I was on the wrestling team in high school to stay active between cross country and track seasons. I always felt honored to be accepted to this group of athletes, by far the classiest of HS athletes. They are the epitome of sportsmanship and empathy.

  4. My youngest grandson wrestles. He's still in Middle School, but he loves it. I've learned a lot about what wrestling does for young people--very positive.


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