Mantua – “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle…” is a quote you will see displayed throughout Crestwood Middle School.

Eighth grade Crestwood Middle School Wrestler, Tom Carson, acted in the very spirit of this quote showing the finest character and integrity during a wrestling tournament at West Geauga the weekend of January 11th, 2014.

tomcarsontomcarsonCrestwood Middle School 8th Grader, Tom Carson, without any prompting or coaxing by his coaches, exemplified pure class by helping a special needs wrestler from an opposing school earn his first takedowns of the season.  Tom’s wrestling style was clean and gentle, yet did not embarrass or make a mockery of this opponent, nor the sport of wrestling.  In this wrestling tournament, where every wrestler was guaranteed a minimum of five matches before the championship finals take place, every other opponent pinned this special needs wrestler within a few seconds.  Tom allowed his opponent to earn 14 points to Tom’s 17, including the first takedown.  Tom also allowed his opponent to have a slight lead for the majority of the match, deep into the final period.  According to the opponent’s coach, Tom’s match was the highlight of his wrestler’s career.  Tom Carson went on to earn the tournament’s award for Most Valuable Wrestler, pinning every opponent in his weight bracket, excluding this one heartfelt exception.  This is why Tom is one of the Crestwood Middle School Team Captains for the 2013-14 wrestling season.  Tom Carson’s future in wrestling for Crestwood is going to be very bright.

Crestwood Middle School Principal, Julie Schmidt, said of Tom Carson, “Crestwood Middle School administrators, staff, and students were all moved by Tom’s heartwarming display of sportsmanship.  We could not be any prouder of him.  Tom exemplified true class, great character, and we are humbled and grateful for what he did at the wrestling tournament and how he represented the CMS Red Devils as a student-athlete”.  Crestwood Middle School Wrestling Coach, Howie Bendau, added, “Tom’s character has been built from his parents, his sister, his friends, as well as his experiences with the great teachers and staff of the Crestwood Schools.  As Tommy’s coach, I want to thank those who have had an impact on Tom’s life for helping to mold him into the outstanding human being that he has become and that I have the honor of coaching”.  Tom Carson is the son of Lesa and Jeff Carson of Mantua, and he is the brother of Elizabeth, who also attends Crestwood Middle School.

There is a video of Tom’s wrestling match available on YouTube entitled, “True Class & Character: Tournament Most Valuable Wrestler Allows Special Needs Wrestler to Compete” for those who would like to see this young man’s act of kindness and sportsmanship.