Thank You, Army Wrestling
Earlier today, the Army Wrestling Instagram page mentioned a post about my career so far and I couldn’t help but to think about how integral of a role the Army Wrestling program has played in my life. This program really did change my life.
So, I decided to write a short thank you here to the Army Wrestling team. I also hope this message can inspire the next generation of young wrestlers to attend West Point because it will change your life forever.
It Was Always West Point
When I first stepped foot on campus in the summer of 2015 for the Army Ranger Wrestling camp, I knew that this is where I wanted to go. Little did I know at the time that I had a zero percent chance of getting into West Point without the Army Wrestling team. I was fortunate enough to be recruited to compete at West Point for the wrestling team. Without Army Wrestling, there would be no West Point. I barely made it into West Point and went to the preparatory school to get my grades up and develop as I was definitely not ready for the academy coming out of high school.
During my first few years, I had incredible coaches like Coach Simpson, Ward, and Chewy. The amount of progress I made on and off the mat was really all because they all invested so much time and effort into me. This picture above was after a rough loss at Cornell with Coach Simpson. I had a lot of growing pains, but my coaches and teammates were there with me the entire way.
Flash forward a few years and with the incredible help and support of Coach Ward, Shuck, Simpson, Doc Z, my teammates, and incredible supporting staff, I started to make strides on and off the mat. The amount of energy and commitment this team put into my career can’t be matched by other programs. I slowly started seeing myself becoming a man that could achieve anything because Army Wrestling showed me what was possible.
BHAW - Brother, Heart, Attitude, Warrior is our motto. It is what defines us. I still live with this mindset every day. The Army Wrestling team is a brotherhood, and we always have each other's backs. Without all of my friends, coaches, and support at West Point, I would not be here as an MIT graduate today writing this from the Harvard Innovation Labs at 25 years old.
As I entered my senior year, I was named one of the captains of the team which was an absolute honor. It was my dream to lead this team. I was a captain during one of the most difficult years of my life as we entered the season in the fall of 2020 in the heat of the COVID Pandemic.
The thing is, the Army Wrestling was with me when I was flying high and winning matches and dual meets, and also when I hit rock bottom. This picture above was taken the week before I got COVID, which unfortunately ended my career as a wrestler. This time in my life was the most difficult experience I have ever faced. I battled through so much adversity in my career, countless injuries, and a lot of brutal weight cuts. So, for my career to be ended by a sickness, put me in a really tough mental place.
But - with the support of this team, they encouraged me to apply to MIT as I could not compete and had extra time. So, that is what I did, and I somehow was accepted into MIT. I couldn’t believe it.
So, I tell this story of my wrestling career at West Point to give a thank you to this incredible program that changed my life.
Without Army Wrestling there would have been no West Point, no MIT, and now as I finish up my time here in Cambridge at the Harvard Innovation Labs, I am realizing that all of this started with Coach Ward taking a chance on me in the summer of 2015.
When people ask me what I do - to this day I say I am an Army Wrestler. I don’t say “I was” an Army Wrestler - being an Army Wrestler is something that will stick with me forever. I am and will always be an Army Wrestler.