My dad was a wrestling coach. He was a teacher, a football coach and a tennis coach, too. But, his real calling was a wrestling coach. He was amazing! Those kids loved him. They performed well for him, they kept their grades up; they knew how much my dad expected of him and how much faith he had in them, so they really excelled. He was a one-of-a-kind.
Every year at the end of January, Pryor hosted the Tiger Classic. So, every year that's where Cassie and I spent our entire weekend. My mom was in charge of the hospitality for the coaches to eat and we would be helping her, cheering with the cheerleaders, or just observing. It was always a big tournament and Pryor always rivaled with Locust Grove. My dad graduated from Locust Grove, so he always wanted to beat them in the tournament. One year when Locust Grove and Pryor were both really good, my dad promised his team that he would shave his head if we beat Locust Grove in a dual. Well, we lost...just barely. But, we beat them in the Tiger Classic, so during the wrestlig homecoming pep assembly, my dad had his head shaved in front of the entire school! It was awesome!
Well, when my dad died my senior year, they renamed the Tiger Classic. It's now "The Doug Rial Memorial". The first year, they recognized my mom, my sister, my uncle and I. They gave us scholarships, bags and a plaque with the new logo. Every year since then, we've attended.
Last year, I attended with my son...Lucas Rial Maxson. They announced him and that he was Doug Rial's first grandson and that he was born on his birthday:) It was so fun! We even took a picture:)
Well, this year we're going again! I can't wait! I have so many memories of this place and I get sad sometimes thinking about how different it is and I wonder if my dad would approve. It just makes me think of him. I'm excited for Lucas to really see it and take it all in. Last year he was so tiny. This year he'll be able to crawl on the mat and really look around. I hope he loves it as much as I!
P.S. Will take a picture and post next week:)