Thursday, January 28, 2016

Undefeated high school wrestler lets opponent with special needs win (VIDEO)

An undefeated Massachusetts high school wrestling champion didn't let his ego get in the way of making another grappler's wish come true.

Norton High School wrestler Deven Schuko — who, until this match last weekend, was undefeated throughout his senior season — was beaten by an overwhelmingly underdog opponent from Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School team.

That opponent? A special needs student named Andy Howland — a hard-working young man who was the beneficiary of Schuko's grand gesture of sportsmanship.

"He wanted a match, and I wanted to tangle with him," said Schuko after being pinned moments after the two wrestlers shook hands on the mat.

Schuko said he was more than happy to reward Howland for his hard work and dedication over the course of the season, reported Paul Burton of Boston’s WBZ-TV:

"We shook hands, and we locked up, and he was a tough kid. And he bulldogged me over to my back. I couldn’t stop the power. I’ve been in sports all my life and wrestling, I believe, is most demanding and for someone like Andy to wrestle and stick with it, I wanted to make his day."

"Deven Schuko, he's a class act," Norton wrestling coach Pat Coleman said of his top-ranked co-captain's unselfish gesture.

And Schuko's 27-1 record shouldn't come with an asterisk. It should probably come with a heart.

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