In early December, Decius was riding his bike to school when a car hit him. He woke up in the ambulance, taken to a hospital for X-rays. Decius, who was wearing a helmet, sustained an orbital fracture that forces him to wear a protective mask while wrestling.
Doctors initially told Decius, who stared at the burns, stitches and bruises all over his body, that he wouldn’t be able to wrestle for the remainder of the season. He already had missed the first half because of football. He was cleared in time for the district meet.
“Don’t take life for granted,” said Decius, who competed as a 182-pounder before the accident and now wrestles guys almost 30 pounds heavier than himself. “I didn’t expect to get hit by a car — it’s not like you go out expecting that. I’m so happy I’m here today. When I had found out I wasn’t cleared, I started crying.”
Like Guillaume, Stubbs and Decius, six others trace their wrestling roots to Pierre and Severe’s middle school program. Before the start of his sophomore season, Guillaume remembers both coaches assuring him the seven fresh faces joining the team would develop into something special, beginning a run of three consecutive district titles.
Pierre even designed a jacket that reads, “We gon get this work.” His greatest lesson transcends the sport of wrestling and carries over into life: Hard work pays off.
“I told [John], ‘We gon’ be good,’ ” Pierre said. “I told the guys, ‘Tomorrow’s not promised. If you want it, you’ve got to get it.’ They stuck to it and just made it happen.”