|The 8 seniors on the varsity wrestling team, plus their dads and coaches.|
February 5, 2010. Cincinnati, OH. The seniors of Archbishop Moeller
High School wrestling program were in for a surprise after
practice on January 29. It was a Friday night and
they had just finished practice when their head coach Jeff
Gaier, told them to stick around and meet in the
locker room at 6 p.m.
At 6:00 on the dot, all
of the coaches and the boys’ dads walked into the
One by one, their coaches got up and commented
on the good qualities the boys had shown during the
season, on their growth and improvement, and on the virtues
they had been developing. One coach, for example, mentioned how
proud he was of Jake Corrill when he noticed the
senior quietly picking up trash and cleaning up the gym
after a meet at another school. In fact, Jake and
his teammate Pierce Harger had both been featured on the
cover of ESPN’s Rise Magazine. The coach’s point was that
humility and service were a big deal.
|Wrestlers Jake Corrill and Pierce Harger on the cover of ESPN's Rise Magazine.|
After the coaches,
each of the dads took a moment to tell his
son that he loved him and was proud of him.
Each dad also gave his son a brand new singlet—a
special one-piece wrestling uniform—that was personalized for each senior.
singlets were a surprise that had been held in reserve
for some time. One of the seniors had actually designed
them a while back, and Coach Gaier had been waiting
for the right occasion. So when the long-coveted uniforms finally
appeared in the hands of their own dads, the boys
were smiling ear to ear.
And maybe it was those
personalized singlets that helped the wrestling team demolish their archrival,
St Xavier High School, 70-0 at the wrestling meet the
Or maybe the ceremony the night before had
|One of the Archbishop Moeller High's senior wrestlers with his dad (and the new singlet).|
something to do with it, along with the indispensable hard
work, conditioning, and technique training.
“A lot of athletics also
has to do with the mental outlook,” said Coach Gaier.
“The ceremony the night before put the seniors in a
pretty good frame of mind and we were very positive
going into the meet the next day. I think that
had an effect on how they competed.”
Singlets or not, the
SportsLeader program at Archbishop Moeller High School is feeding
the 55-athlete wrestling program with values, and many of the
boys are rising to the challenge to grow in virtue
along with technique.
“We’ve expanded the SportsLeader program here each year
as we’ve gotten more comfortable with our own faith,” explained
Coach Gaier. “This year has been our best year. It’s
going to be a major part of our program from
here on out.”
Learn more about the SportsLeader
program at www.sportsleader.org.