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The Mackinac Challenge
All great sports teams are steeped in tradition, like the Fighting Irish football team touching the sign that says "Play Like a Champion Today" before every game. In 1998 the Hornet Wrestlers started what I hope becomes one of those great traditions.
On a cold gray afternoon we loaded up their gear and headed north. It started to snow before we reached our first stop for wrestling practice in Petoskey. Then it snowed pretty hard the rest of the way to Mackinac City. After a night of swimming, pizza, friendship and maybe a little sleep it was off to catch a ferry from St. Ignace to the first annual running of the Mackinac Challenge. Eight long miles around the shore of that now quiet little island in late November. There were twenty-nine people on that ferry ride, the captain and his two mates, one carpenter, and twenty-five Hornet wrestlers and coaches. However, it had dawned clear and calm, hardly a ripple in the straits. It was not what we might have expected for that time of year, a perfect morning for a run.
Why all this travel for a morning run? Well I was along for that trip and watched as this experience bonded these kids into more than a team, in many ways they began to turn into a family. They met this challenge and became closer friends and better teammates. This was just one of many traditions that helped turn these boys into State Champions. So on a late November Saturday when you are having your morning coffee, think of our grapplers as they tackle this new tradition once again and build on the legacy that is Williamston Wrestling.
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Williamston High School, 3939 Vanneter Rd., Williamston , MI 48895
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