Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Three Wrestling Musketeers

A few of my high school wrestling teammates were also my neighbors. We all grew up near a little town called Frankville. Three of them were close friends kind of like The Three Musketeers. I will refer to them as Randy #1, Randy #2, and Eugene. They were one year ahead of me in school. When I was a freshman, they would sometimes give me a ride home after wrestling practice.

Randy #1 is the most memorable of the three. He was blond, athletic, and a bit cocky. He drove a Monte Carlo that I loved. He let me drive it once. He was popular and a good all around athlete. He excelled most at football and wrestling.

Randy injured his shoulder during his senior season of football. He didn't get it operated on, however, because that would have meant missing wrestling season. So, he wrestled that season with his arm in some kind of sling that allowed him limited mobility of the arm. He had a great season despite his shoulder and placed second in the state tournament at 155 pounds.

On one occasion after losing a match I should have won, I met Randy in the hallway. He didn't give me the standard line of, "Nice try," or "Good match." He knew I was hurting. He simply said, "That was a tough one, bud." He knew enough not to try to cheer me up. Randy was a cool guy.

I seem to remember a story about Randy wrestling near the edge of the mat once during a meet and talking to the cheerleaders nearby at the same time. Perhaps Randy just made that story up himself, but I could imagine him doing it.

Randy # 2 was also popular and a good athlete. He had brown hair and a very solid build. I went along with him and another wrestler to wrestling camp one summer. I believe he drove a Pontiac Fiero in high school. Actually, I think he just worked on it a lot and finally drove it for the fist time to his senior prom. He was a good wrestler at 138 pounds. He had the misfortune of having the two top ranked wrestlers in the state in his bracket at the district tournament. If our team had wrestled in a different district, he certainly might have qualified for the state tournament.

Eugene was not as athletically gifted as Randy #1 and Randy # 2 and probably wasn't found attractive by as many of the girls and yet he was very popular. He was Homecoming King during his senior year. He was good at conversation and giving speeches. Eugene was on the wrestling team all through high school even though he didn't get to wrestle many varsity matches. I admire that about him. He liked wrestling enough and was dedicated enough that he stuck with it. I seem to recall Eugene wrestling a varsity match in which he wrestled up about three weight classes. I think he wrestled at 185 one night for some reason. He went out, wrestled like a wild man, and actually won the match.

I was at Eugene's house once for some reason and he was looking in the glove box of his car. When he opened his glove box, I saw a huge box of condoms. I was shocked. I couldn't imagine any high school guy having that much sex. But, he did have a steady girlfriend at the time. I was accustomed to guys carrying one condom in their wallet, but this was something else entirely.

I went along with The Three Musketeers on a couple of occasions when they went to a motel that had a sauna and a hot tub. We would go there to try to sweat off some water weight the night before a competition weigh in.

One evening as we were leaving the motel, I think Randy #1 saw a poster on the wall of the entryway near the door and thought we should take it. So, the poster was quickly taken down and off we went. I don't remember what was on the poster. Randy #1 had a bit of a wild streak to be sure.

The Three Musketeers were all farm boys or had done farm work on occasion. So, if you want to build some functional strength for wrestling you might want to consider throwing around a few hay bales and carrying a few pails of corn. It worked these strapping lads. They were doing Dinosaur training or strongman training you might say.

The Three Musketeers all went on to be successful members of society. I won't forget them. They a were and are three great guys.

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