The Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament was this past weekend. I have a special affinity for it – I’ve wrestled in it as a kid and attended as an adult. Simply put: it’s one of the best experiences in the sport of wrestling, and in my life.
It’s full of great story lines: small towns and big city schools chasing after state championships in a dual team format, whole towns traveling across the state to cheer on the kids. Everyone hates Apple Valley HS, but admires them for their long-running success.
But then there’s stories like this.
Mitchell McKee, sophomore at St. Michael Albertville HS, won a state title this past weekend. But it wasn’t the title that was so important. It was that his dad – who has terminal cancer and isn’t expected to live much longer – despite his weakened state was in the stands to witness his son’s accomplishment.
And immediately after winning, you know where Mitchell headed:
And the whole arena applauded, because the whole arena was aware of their story. Probably not a dry eye in the building.
The story tells itself. And the fact the whole arena stood up and recognized that beyond the state titles there are other stories during that tournament that really embody what the sport of wrestling and the state tournament is really about,
it gives me chills just thinking about it.
And it’s a story worth sharing with you today, because honestly, these are the stories worth telling.