By Amy McCall
My 14-yr-old son, Evan, is one of those kids you just can't help but
liking as he's always smiling, never has a cross word, gives 115% and
always wants to do his very best. His middle school wrestling Coach
saw all this and more and has helped Ev develop a love for a sport he
was born to do.
Evan started wrestling 1.5 yrs ago, at the beginning of 7th grade. He
weighed 103, but wrestled at 119 so he could get mat time. We didn't
keep track of his season since it was mostly a learning period and
let's face it, when you're wrestling 15 lbs over your weight for the
first year, it ain't gonna be pretty.
We hung in there and came back the next year weighing in at 119 and
ready for business. I didn't watch any practices so imagine my
surprise after our first match when my Evan took to the mat and looked
as skilled as any choreographed dancer doing a performance. My jaw
literally dropped!! Where was the kid that wasn't sure where to place
his hands? The kid that did nothing last year but scurry around to
keep from getting pinned. That kid was long gone and what was forming
was a wrestler - one that you could tell got it. One that had a desire
to learn it and do it right. As the season progressed, Evan developed
quite a following. The parents cheered when he came out, this time
instead of grinning ear to ear worrying about getting a hot dog after
the match, he was focused and determined. He wanted this.
Evan ended his season in Jan, 2010 by winning the North Florida 119
Weight Class championship. He had a record of 22-0 with 18 of those
wins being by pin. His sweet spirit never changed and he always
portrayed the ultimate display of sportsmanship.
While waiting for his final match at the North FL tourney, I was in
the stands and happened to look over and found my boy off by himself.
I watched for a few minutes and then the tears started when I saw the
calmness and sincerity he carried on his face (yes, I know there's NO
crying in wrestling!). Whether he won or not, he was my champ for
having evolved into this incredible competitor.
After he won the match and we were on our way home, I showed him the
pic and asked what he was doing during that time. He said, "I was just
praying that I would do my very best because I wanted this with all my
Whew...ok, so there's crying in wrestling.
(Mom of Evan McCall, currently wrestling for the Fleming Island
Wrestling Club, Jacksonville, FL)