THS wrestling performance ‘a work of heart’

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To the Editor,

Evander Holyfield once said, “It is not the size of a man, but the size of his heart that matters.” Especially in the sport of wrestling, there are many figures that can be quantified. We can quantify escapes, takedowns, nearfalls, pins, wins, losses, individual rankings, team rankings, state championships, and most obviously, size/weight class. But for the fans in attendance this past Saturday at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, the Tecumseh wrestling team demonstrated the size of one significant element that is difficult to quantify — heart.

For those familiar with wrestling, the match against perennial powerhouse, St. John’s, certainly had its share of impressive figures. Certainly such figures — four straight team state titles, three individual state champions, and several other state-ranked individuals — speak for themselves. But, the heart and effort with which Tecumseh wrestled spoke the loudest as they very nearly pulled off a victory.

As Tecumseh jumped out to a 12-0 lead after three matches, one could hear the whispering and murmuring from fans watching other schools, “Tecumseh is beating St. Johns.” Like watching the final scenes of The Grinch, any observer of the match could almost see the hearts of Tecumseh’s athletes and coaches growing, as they continued to battle a Goliath of recent years in Michigan high school wrestling.

Although Tecumseh won eight matches to St. Johns’ six, the final score ended 33-35, the second-closest match of the entire weekend, across all divisions (with the exception of St. Johns’ eventual loss in the finals to Lowell, 34-35).

The emotions of this match ran the gamut from excitement, to surprise, to earnestness, but never to fear. How inspiring it was to watch this group of boys give such a fearless performance… but if you’ve watched them this season, you wouldn’t have expected any less from this tribe. There were certainly tears at the end — especially for the ten seniors who capped off their fourth consecutive trip to the finals in a big way — but these athletes have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of.

Although the result may not have been as desired, there is comfort in knowing these athletes left it all on the mat. The lessons of such experiences transcend athletics — regardless of the numbers, the odds, or anything that can be quantified — with dedication, commitment, and faith, little can stand in your way. As a fan, I thank you for the reminder that, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

You can’t put a number on heart, but your performance served as a testament to its impact. Congratulations to the team on another great season, and best of luck to those Tecumseh wrestlers who qualified for the individual state finals at the Palace.

Mary Lesko
Proud alumni and proud coach’s daughter




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