State Stories

23

SAWA - Coal City Wrestling Supports Rival Wrestler In Need

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As a part of the IHSA Do What’s Right! Sportsmanship Program, member school personnel and licensed IHSA officials have the ability to recognize acts of exemplary sportsmanship and integrity that occur in IHSA events throughout the school year via the Sport A Winning Attitude Report (SAWA). Those who are recognized receive a special certificate from the IHSA and select SAWAs are featured here on the IHSAState website.

The SAWA Report below on the Coal City High School wrestling program was submitted by Clifton Central High School wrestling coach Travis Williams:

"We have a sophomore wrestler who entered the year ranked in the top 10 in his weight class in Class 1A. He was battling fatigue and mood swings for the past six months with no answers becoming readily available. Finally, in early November some answers finally came about. He was diagnosed with a hyper thyroid. He had to have surgery to remove his thyroid and the road ahead is full of uncertainties. Given the passion this young man has, I have no doubts where he will be as soon as his health allows...back on the mat.

To help support this student and his family, our community started a gofundme.com account to help with medical costs. In December, I received a message from one our parents that Coal City Wrestling had provided $100 to the cause. People don’t understand the tight bond that exists within the Illinois Wrestling Family! This was an amazing example, just a week after wrestling one another in a highly contested match, that Coal City would come together as a group to make such a donation. The student’s family could not believe it and was very grateful of this act of kindness by an opponent. I know that at the IHSA sportsmanship and character are the ultimate sign of success, and with that said, I would like to say thank you to Coal City who has faced its own struggles as a community in recent times.

Our team and community applaud Coal City Wrestling’s actions!"