As a freshman, Matthew was recruited last year by a canny high school wrestling coach who had slots to fill in the smallest weight class and who prefers to train new talent himself. Our athletic Matthew had umpteen seasons of soccer under his belt, but when the coach approached him in the hall at school Matt instinctively responded with his typical deadpan "I didn't do it."
The coach ignored that (years of experience with teenagers at work) and asked Matthew to consider joining the wrestling team. Amazingly, Matt did. Mark subsequently asked the coach a dozen or more pertinent questions via email, gave his blessing, and the team had its newest 103 wrestler (at the time Matt optimistically weighed 93 pounds soaking wet but that is simply logistics).
Apparently the coach is spared the difficult job of letting boys go from the wrestling team because many kids attend a few truly grueling practices and cut themselves. Just with our fashion sense, Katie and I figured Matthew would never ever wear a singlet and therefore would never risk bodily injury... so we were completely unconcerned until he stuck it out.
It is a very new high school and a very new team, but Holly Springs is making great strides. Sophomore Matt is looking forward to his second wrestling season, and is even mentoring some of the lighter newbies. "Mom, you wouldn't believe how scrawny some of these freshman are." Really? You don't say.
I am more concerned about wrestling being only second to football in terms of injuries, but remain mum as I watch Matt's confidence grow with his team spirit. Hopefully we can look forward to another great year as Matthew tackles weight lifting and geometry at the same time.