So the highlights of this past weekend were the school dance and the wrestling banquet. The thing that these really have in common is a sense of community. The word Community can have a lot of meanings, and in some contexts, some people almost take it as a negative. But the word community has always meant a lot to me. Heck, the first school I attended, from Kindergarten through second grade, was the Community School of Colorado Springs. Community is important to me.
One of the reasons we have kept the kids in Buena Vista all these years has been the community there. The sense of shared work, and people pulling together for the kids. These school dances were always a big deal. In earlier years the adults got almost as much out of the dances as the kids did. That part has fallen off some over the years sadly. But it was still there. And spending time with a fellow parent who had returned with her 2 younger kids after having been out of town for 3 years brought the feelings back to some extent.
But the event where I really felt part of a community was the wrestling banquet. The thing about kids sports, especially club sports like wrestling, is that the parents have to do some work. But it does not always feel like a group or community. But for the Westside Wrestling Club, there really is a sense of community, that there is something at work there beyond just wrestling.
That is Clint Brickell, the leader of the club, enjoying the very spirited game of dodgeball with the kids at the banquet. We don’t have really anything in common. And we may not always feel that James has gotten as much focus and attention from the coaches as he might need. But in the end, that was not so important. Because for the past 3 years, James has had a place to go for 4 nights a week. Someone to teach him, challenge him, and help him. Getting out and spending time with kids he might otherwise never socialize with.
The most important thing is that Clint is very dedicated to using the sport of wrestling as a way to build a sense of pride and community in a part of town and a group of kids that don’t get much of that. When the West Middle School won the City wrestling championship this last year it was a big deal. And you could tell it was a real big deal to Clint.
And at the banquet, when he gathered the oldest wrestlers, the graduating group, together and gave them a pep talk, and thanked them for all they had done you could tell he really cared. And I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room among the adults when he got the kids together for a group hug.
Part of raising kids is watching them move through stages. Different groups of people have big effects on their lives. Family, neighbors, teachers all play big parts in the lives of kids. For Jimmy, we can also say that he has had his sports, especially the wrestling. He will always have this core, and a foundation to build from. Thanks Westside for a good 3 years.