Pops take on sons at THS banquet
Wyatt Coffin first got the idea last season as a junior on the Tonganoxie High wrestling team.
It was fitting that it came to fruition for Coffin, now a departing senior, on March 3 at the team's banquet.
Coffin's concept: Have the THS grapplers take the mat against their fathers.
"At first I thought they were just messing around," coach Jeremy Goebel said, recalling when Coffin and some of his teammates brought up the idea last season.
But after hearing from some parents, mostly mothers, who also endorsed the intergenerational grappling, Goebel gave it the go-ahead and made preparations for this year's seniors to wrestle their fathers.
Chieftains seniors Coffin, Cameron Adcox, Travis Adcox, AJ DeMaranville and Matt Ditty did just that at the team's end-of-season banquet. After team members, coaches and families had dinner and passed out awards in the THS commons area, they trekked to the wrestling room for some dad versus son action.
"It was crazy," Goebel said of the contests, which featured just two 20-second periods. "It was funny to see them get after it like that."
Wyatt Coffin and his father, Larry, were the first to battle. The two couldn't help but laugh as they squared off with junior THS grappler Matt Brock serving as a referee.
Wyatt Coffin, used to wrestling for three two-minute periods, found it difficult to pull off an effective maneuver in the shortened first period, but he understood why the time allotted was six times shorter than a high school match.
"Obviously they don't have the lungs like we do," he said with a laugh.
In the second round, though, Wyatt got Larry down on the mat and sealed the victory.
"I dominated," the son said, before tossing his dad a compliment. "For not wrestling since 1980 he did all right."
Even though he might have been a tad rusty, Larry Coffin said he was on board for the match the first time he heard about it. And he was glad he got the chance to do it, despite the defeat.
"It was real exhilarating. It brought my youth back," the father said, before pointing to a possible cause for his downfall. "Forty seconds is a long time for a 46-year-old guy."
The elder Coffin was no wrestling newcomer. He wrestled at THS when he was a youngster.
"It was different, being on your back and struggling," he said of the match with his son. "I was huffing and puffing, brought back memories."
By the end of the evening, all the seniors were victorious - even if some outcomes were disputed.
"I did win, contrary to what my dad might tell you," Cameron Adcox said of his duel with his father, Billy.
The younger Adcox said his dad no longer had the upper hand as he did when the two playfully wrestled when Cameron was much smaller.
"I'm not the kid he used to beat up," he joked.
Billy Adcox, who had no wrestling experience, said the fathers took it easy on their sons.
"We didn't want to hurt the kids and ruin their reputations," he joked.
While everyone involved had a different highlight from the evening, Cameron Adcox said the best part was watching Wyatt Coffin, who came up with the event in the first place, get to grapple with his father.
"His family's been real supportive of him, he's been wrestling for four years and it was good to see him out there with his dad for sort of a last hurrah," Adcox said.
With the success of the evening, Goebel said THS might have just initiated a new tradition.
"It was fun," the coach said. "It would be fun to do it in the future as a fundraiser."