Sharing a story

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By: Nate Shearer
Head Wrestling Coach

I’ve made a strong effort to stay away from writing any articles that deal with wrestling. However, recruiting at the Junior Nationals High School tournament last week I came across a few good memories I thought I would share. A former high school teammate is now the head wrestling coach in our hometown and brought a group of them to the tournament. The coach shared with me an article about a recent graduate .

My hometown of Clyde, Ohio is located 30 minutes south of Lake Erie. In two words you can sum up this town of 6,000 people: Whirlpool & wrestling. Whirlpool employs nearly 3,000 people and wrestling the other. When I moved to the town of Clyde in 6th grade I thought it was strange most of my new friends had 10’x10’ wrestling mats in their basements or garages. Our basement welcomed a new (to our family) wrestling mat. Interestingly, our basement was unfinished because it flooded constantly. The water could rise so high the rafters had water damage. It was during these special moments we had an in ground/indoor pool with a now floating mat to wrestle and play on. Living the dream! By the end of summer wrestling was the only activity holding my attention. The town’s passion captivated any boy looking to participate in athletics. Each year it was amazing to see our town represent the largest crowd at that year’s state tournament which continually sells out the nearly 20,000 seat arena.

Growing up in a passionate environment definitely provided me a unique experience, but the reason for this little bit of background information is to highlight a well deserving accomplishment from a current athlete at Clyde High School. Chris Moore recently won an individual state championship. Making the achievement special was his former teammate Bubba Andrews in attendance. Zeb Miller extensively covers the Ohio wrestling community and is a leading contributor to the largest wrestling media outlet in the country. Recently, Zeb put together his favorite memories from the past 20 years. Below is the story of Chris Moore (making #1 on the list), and a few links to his video of Chris and Bubba at the state championships.

#1 Bubba Andrews and Chris Moore: by Zeb Miller

Growing up I competed in the Sandusky Bay Conference and our fierce rivals were the Clyde Fliers. Although we could not beat the Fliers, and Chad Long made my brother Tait and I his stepchild frequently, I still respected them. It was kind of weird because we were supposed to hate them, but we did not. It was a bizarre connection we had with the people of Clyde, I think that it was their blue collar mentality that was like our blue collar upbringing. The town of Clyde has a Whirlpool Factory in it and a majority of the parents of the athletes work there. My dad was a union Ironworker and my uncles were pipe-fitters, so that is my only real thought for the positive relationship we had with the Clyde folks. The Fliers won a team title in 1995, the same year my brother Tait was state champion, so that was another time we shared a common moment together. I grew up with Clyde-great Big Tim Anderson and watched him win two state titles, one where he almost killed his coach after the match. Then there was the Clyde-genius, Doug West winning a title with some last second heroics. Those were all great moments for the Fliers, but their greatest moment in my opinion came this week in the Division Two 170 pound state final. This moment is so great for me and took roots with knowing the Fliers and their fans, families and athletes for the last twenty plus years. Chris Moore made the state finals at 170 pounds and had some real inspiration to win. His idol and hero Bubba Andrews was on hand to watch and cheer him on. Bubba was a former state placer for the Fliers in 2008 where he finished fifth, with two, two point losses to Max Thomuseeit of Graham (Now Pitt Panthers). Bubba was always butting heads with Cody Magrum of Oak Harbor and always made the match competitive. Bubba was also a standout on the gridiron for the Fliers, to put it plain and simple, Bubba Andrews was a stud. I coached a team in 2004 with a host of great middle and elementary school wrestlers on it. It was a who’s who of wrestlers in Ohio which included the following studs: Bubba Andrews, Keith and Konner Witt, Aric Thurn, Ian Miller, Cody Magrum, Zach and Cody Garbrandt and Wade Ishmael amongst others. It was great a experience and made me even closer to the Clyde Flier family. I was able to follow all of the Fliers as they competed against the Oak Harbor Rockets. The friends and families were always so cordial and made you feel like family when you were around them. After the 2008 state tournament I had not seen Bubba, but I had seen his parents and brothers who wrestled my nephew Ian. So, Saturday night the Fliers had another finalist in Chris Moore at 170 lbs. Little did I know the shape that Bubba was in. Bubba has been fighting a brain tumor since 2010, and has recently run into some complications. He continues to fight. Last week he witnessed one of the greatest things a Clyde Flier could see, another Flier win a state title. Bubba had a mat-side seat to see Moore, who credits Andrews as his inspiration, win a title. It was the most powerful thing that I have ever seen at the Ohio State Tournament. It made me be thankful for everything that I have in my life. It made me think of how lucky I was to have had Bubba Andrews and the Clyde people in my life. The fact that Bubba could essentially see his little brother win a title, and know that he was a part of the start of Chris Moore’s wrestling career was priceless to me. It made me feel like Bubba could see a great moment that he may not be around for next year. Whether Bubba wins his fight, or Chris Moore repeats next year as a senior, their moment changed my life and shows how powerful this tournament is, and how it can affect our lives both positively and negatively.

http://www.gohiocasts.com/coverage/248365-OHSAA-State-Wrestling-2012-GOhioCasts/video/616154-Chris-Moore-Gives-Bubba-Some-Love-Before

http://www.gohiocasts.com/coverage/248365-OHSAA-State-Wrestling-2012-GOhioCasts/video/616155-Final-Moments-of-Moores-Title-and-Bubba-Andrews-Love (Bubba and his father cheering in the background with the black shirts)

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