NW Classen's Mike Anderson completes his vision quest
The 2009-10 wrestling season is in the books. Finals night usually has some great stories and
the 89th edition did not dissapoint.
One of the best was that of Northwest Classen’s Mike Anderson who won his first title as a senior at 215 pounds after a very difficult 2009 season when he wrestled with a torn ACL. He had surgery to fix it but wore a bulky brace all through this season.
“Yeah, I loved wrestling with a messed up knee,” Anderson joked earlier this season.
But physical pain is just part of what Anderson has endured during his short life. His parents have been in and out of his life. He lived at least part of his high school years with his sister.
“All my problems disappear when I go to school, especially in the wrestling room,” he said in February 2007 as a freshman qualifying for his first state tournament.
Anderson may never have had the kind of home environment others wrestlers have, but what he did have was a small army of people who cared, starting with coach Bob Toma and assistant coach Tony Trail. There were more than a few eyes filled with tears as faculty members at Northwest Classen and assorted friends and family gathered around him on the ramp at State Fair Arena after his victory.
And making the moment even more picture perfect was Van Bumpas, the last wrestler at Classen to win a state title.
Bumpas, now an accountant living in Edmond, presented Anderson with his championship medal. Bumpas moved out of the metro area years ago, and later returned, but never stopped caring about his old school. When Toma asked him to come out to see Anderson’s finals match, and present the award if he won he couldn’t stay home.
“It’s a thrill to be here and see him achieve a goal I know he’s worked so hard for,” Bumpas said. “If you added up all the time he’s wrestled this weekend, it probably wouldn’t be more than five minutes. He’s been that good.”
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