For some, sports are just something someone does to pass the time. But for others, sports can mean just a little bit more.
For Trigg County senior Colin Stevens and his family, it’s a way of life.
Stevens is the fourth person in his family to place at the state tournament as his dad, Ralph Stevens, won a state title his senior year, his brother, Aaron Stevens, won third-place and his uncle, Homer Stevens, placed multiple times at the state tournament.
“I don’t remember when I first started wrestling,” Colin said. “My dad asked me and I don’t remember making the decision to go out there, apparently I did and even since then, it’s just been something I’ve done.”
Ralph coached both of his sons and said he feels a lot of emotions when he watches Colin on the mat.
“Heart attack and strokes,” he said. “I’m actually looking forward to next year when I don’t have a kid wrestler and I can enjoy it. I do a lot of yelling when they’re wrestler but that’s just to calm my nerves. It’s nothing to do with them, it’s just my nerves.”
Aaron, a 2014 graduate of TCHS, said he didn’t feel the pressure of following in his dad’s footsteps early in his wrestling career.
“I’d say at first not a whole lot because I was one of the first ones when the program started back up to get into it,” he said. “Didn’t really know a lot about it. I knew dad wrestled. It wasn’t until my freshman year that I realized how intense the sport was. It was pretty interesting to learn that.”
Aaron said it’s been quite the ride watching his little brother progress as today will be the last time he wrestles for the Wildcats.
“It’s been hard,” he said. “Back when I was his age, he was just that little bitty kid running around. Would hop on our backs between matches and wrestle around with us ... It’s hard seeing him take the losses, but seeing him make his career what it’s become so far has been really interesting.”
Aaron played multiple sports growing up but said wrestling and football have a special place in his heart.
“For me, I always like contact sports,” he said. “I was the football player, got into wrestling. I was the kid that played very little sport when I was young. Those were the two that I felt like complemented each other and I was good at. Dad will tell you, when he watches Colin wrestle, Colin’s very nice. I was a bully. The contact for me was the big part of it. For him, I think it’s what we’ve done. It’s been his life.”
When asked if it’s hit him that today is Colin’s final day of wrestling in high school, Ralph said it actually did early Friday morning.
“When we were sitting up there this morning before weigh-ins, I saw him laying down and I’m like ‘this is it,’ ” he said. “I’ve enjoyed both my kids … I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I wish I had all three of them back to start over again.”
Aaron said he returned to the mat to help his brother but he’s gotten a little more out of it than he thought he would.
“I came back to the program to work out with my brother, to give him a good workout,” he said. “It’s hard because I start falling in love with the other kids … It’s hard to think about because they’re becoming family too.”
Stevens will hit the mat today in the 170-pound semifinals against North Oldham’s Bryce Moberly.