“The Grappler” By Raymond Roy #poem

The Grappler By Raymond Roy

Wrestling practice, bus garage, Only heat is from your breath and sweat. Adversaries…. ain’t seen nothing yet.

Represented every weight, corn-fed Unlimited, slender 101, and middle, 168.

Up at 530 to run the bleachers, our Coach was Ross aka one of the Algebra teachers.

No Friday night lights, no roaring crowds, no booming bands, as immediate family were our biggest fans.

Not to forget our Guardian Angels so secret in disguise, who loyally dressed up our locker, and brought plenty a surprise.

Back of the bus, spit in a cup, gotta to make the weight, or you would wrestle up.

First round of three you shook the hands, opponent of equal weight, whistle blows, butterflies gone, training will tell your fate.

Take down for two, escape for one, a pin and points will matter none.

Quarter Nelson, cross face, or a fireman’s carry, countering the cradle never reach back and be wary.

Your challenger’s breathing is all that you can hear, and instructions from the ref, through your head adorned gear.

The small frys are quick, juvenile looking at their best, the middle weights, intense, confidently pounding fist on chest.

Like charging bull or loco train, the heavyweights grapple on the mat, raw power in slow motion, like a slothy acrobat.

While defeat brought deep heartache and victory yielded bliss, pinning meant a gold pin, and a mat maids innocent kiss.


By no means was I superstar wrestler. Record was 50-50 at best. One of my most cherished items is a peer based inspirational trophy I received my Junior year. It sits on my desk in front of me, as a daily reminder of my roots and my first experience of being part of something greater than myself.

This poem is dedicated to all wrestlers but especially to my coaches, teammates and those that supported us back at Lynden High School. Go Lions!

LHS Class of ’81


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