Caryn Brooks: Final Trip to Fargo

Michele Weldon | July 19, 2012

This post is written by Caryn Brooks, mother of Sam Brooks, and a wrestling mom extraordinaire.

My son had a monkey on his back and that monkey was named Fargo.

Every year thousands of wrestlers from all over the country come to Fargo, ND to battle for the stop sign – the plaque that says you are the best high school wrestler at your weight in either Greco Roman or Freestyle in the nation.

For four years Sam has come to Fargo and he’d gotten very close six times, but he’d never gone home with the stop sign - until now.

As his mom, I have been proud of him every year and am always amazed at his grit, toughness and sheer determination. It is a grueling week especially, if like Sam, you wrestle both styles.

But this year was his final year here and I was nervous. I knew how much he wanted this, how hard he worked for it and how much it meant to him to get that monkey off his back and this was his last chance.

So when he hurt his shoulder in the first match of the three-man round robin to determine who would go for first place from his side of the bracket, I lost my breath. It felt as if someone had knocked the wind out of me. Thankfully Sam reacted differently. He adjusted his wrestling and went on to win that match and the next match to make it into the finals.

As we waited for Sam’s final match to come up his father texted me, “have you found a good place to hide?” He knows I have a habit when I am nervous for my sons of not being able to watch and hiding until it’s over and someone can tell me what happened.

But not this time. If Sam could gut it out, so could I. I sat right in front of mat 1. Sam saw me in the stands and caught my eye. I felt better and I think he did too. He wrestled a very good match, nothing fancy but enough to win.

Enough to get the Fargo monkey off his back.

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