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.
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.
An uncommon bond, affecting uncommon results, creating uncommon leadership.
Exemplars of teamwork.