Tuesday, 22 February 2011
No one likes to lose. It's just a fact of life. I hate when my dodgeball team loses (which unfortunately, has been quite frequently this season). I hate seeing the other team bask in the glow of victory while sipping post-game victory drinks. I hate not making the playoffs and being relegated to the loser's bracket where you play "friendly" games instead of duking it out for the championship belt.
Losing sucks. Plain and simple.
But what happens when you don't even attempt to go for the W? One kid in Iowa decided a shot at the state title wasn't as important as something else.
Linn-Mar High School's Joel Northrup decided not to improve on his 35-4 record when he found out his first round opponent on Thursday was Cassy Herkelman, a female freshman with a 20-13 record. His reason for defaulting the match, giving Herkelman the victory, was a matter of faith. He said, "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan [Black, a sophomore who lost her first round match] and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner..."
Pretty classy of a high school boy to admit his respect for the first two girls to ever make the Iowa state wrestling tournament. But, should he have dropped out because the sport "can get violent at times"?
Nope. I'm pretty sure the girls knew going into the season they weren't signing up for a non-contact sport. They were signing up for wrestling, a sport that can be traced back to the Trojan War. A sport defined as "two unarmed individuals [struggling] hand to hand with each attempting to subdue or unbalance the other." Squash and racquetball it's not.
Did Northrup do the right thing by going with his faith and forfeiting the match or was he afraid of the possibility of losing to a girl?