My superheroes.

Last week, the young man in Nicolet blue was heading to Madison to compete for the 170lb class wrestling title. Last night, Parker earned the top spot on the podium; state champion.

The culmination of a 31-0 season. Not just the feat of an uncommon student-athlete, but that of a similarly hewn individual. And though that moment was meant only for him, you could tell his teammate Peter was right there too.

I presume the makings of this partnership began long ago, before my time. But they were certainly evident last fall on the field. From the first football practice to the last, Peter pushed Parker. And Parker responded in kind. Back and forth. To and fro. Over and over. Those two share an uncommon bond. To this author, a connection born of their love of competition. But at no time was it ever centered on rank, status or ego. Rather, it was always about growth, excellence, friendship.

And respect.

This collaborative pursuit continued on well beyond fall, onto the mats of winter. While the dreams of one’s season – and high school career – came to an all too early end, that measure of disappointment did not dissuade him from making sure his teammate’s season went on and his dreams were realized.

Now it might be hard to decipher, but the letters on Parker’s white warm-up spell “WTD”.

Win The Day.

While Pete’s gray T bears no such verbiage, that signage matters not. For he understood, embraced and embodied the mission:

To do his part. Whatever it takes. Regardless of the cost. To help insure that his teammate meets with uncommon success.

And wins his day.

Now he may not yet realize it, but the uncommon leadership Pete exerted by offering himself up to his teammate has already rippled out across the wrestling community at Nicolet. Its influence will be felt for seasons to come.

And this fall, Parker will do his part. And push right back.

Doing his absolute best to pay it forward. Sending his own ripple of uncommon leadership outward to his teammates across the football field. Then, for added emphasis – and to nudge Peter a bit – onto the mats of winter.

Peter and Parker.

A marvelous collaboration. One based on growth. Excellence. Friendship.

And respect.

An uncommon bond, affecting uncommon results, creating uncommon leadership.

Exemplars of teamwork.

My superheroes.


Author: Mark J. Hahn

"To be there when the light goes on." Those few, powerful words, succinctly sum up my quest as a coach. That is really what it is all about. This is precisely what drives me. To have good fortune shine upon me briefly so that I can be present at that very moment. The instant of revelation. When the years of heavy lifting results in it making sense for someone else. The almost audible “click”, followed instantaneously by an unmistakable incandescence. The illumination that can only accompany accomplishment. To see bean in the eyes, the look on the face, a change in stature and the air of confidence overtake and envelope the protoge, the “project” or the late bloomer. That is why I am in it. There may never be a stat for achieving those kinds of victories. But it is by far the most important “w” I will ever achieve.

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