Bucs' wrestlers thrive during 'Purple Pride' match

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:02 PM

Alec Benton wasn't too disappointed that he lost in his first appearance in the varsity lineup for the Grand Haven wrestling squad.

Benton knows his grandpa, John Boos, would be proud of him regardless of the outcome of the match.

Benton, a freshman, dedicated his efforts to his grandfather on Wednesday as part of the Bucs' Pride celebration at Grand Haven High School. Each wrestler wore purple T-shirts bearing a name of an individual who has battled cancer. Grand Haven won the contest in convincing fashion over East Kentwood, 59-13.

"He passed away about two months ago," Benton said of his grandpa. "He had lung cancer. He fought it, it went away, then it came back. I was very close to him.

"I think he'd be proud of me, even if I wrestled awful, no matter what."

Benton didn't wrestle awful. Instead, he put forth a great performance in his first-ever varsity match, eventually suffering a 13-5 loss to East Kentwood's Michael Ferrel.

Bucs' coach James Richardson was proud of the youngster's effort, and proud of the effort of his entire team against the Falcons.

"Alec dedicated his effort to his grandpa, and it's not about a win. It's about his effort," Richardson said. "His grandfather would be very proud of his effort tonight."

Richardson wore a shirt bearing the name Craig Myers.

"He's a friend of mine who battled cancer last year," Richardson said. "He was kind enough to help pay for the gold singles, which represent championships. This is the first time our entire team has worn gold singlets. I told them, they can wear them as long as they perform like champions, and they did tonight."

To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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