The Grappler By Raymond Roy
Wrestling practice in a bus garage, where the only heat was from your breath and sweat.
To our adversaries, they ain’t seen nothing yet……….
Represented was every weight. Corn-fed Unlimited,
and in the 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.
Immediate family were our biggest fans…….
Not to forget our Guardian Angels so secret in disguise,
They loyally dressed up our lockers, and brought plenty a surprise……
Back of the bus, spit in a cup.
Gotta make the weight, or you would wrestle up…….
First round of three you shook the hands of an 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, are intense, confidently pounding fist on chest……
Like charging bull or loco train, the heavyweights would 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