Senior Varsity Captain Carson Tanner (center), 2nd Place 138# @ Battle at the Border 12-14-19

Battle at the Border Day #2, 12-14-19

There are people, young men at this event, behind each win and loss.  Carson Tanner, a previous state placer, won his way up to the final match, the face-off between 1st and 2nd place for the 138lb class.  He would win the match; or so we all expected. 

But he got caught and was taken down.  The team watched him walk off the mat after his loss; they were surprised, confused and disappointed for him.  It was the team’s loss, too; both he and Nathan Asistin were their 1st place hope since they had already lost their chance for 1st or 2nd place.  (Nathan Asistin was wrestling at the same time as Carson and ended up winning 1st place for the 132lb class.)


If you look up the definition of “strong character,” you find: “someone having a strong character is basically a person that doesn’t waver. More specifically: he or she sets goals and does not give up until they achieve them. He or she can do things against all adversity and opposition.” 

As Grant Strassell watched Carson walk off the mat, Grant was overcome with respect for Carson’s strong character.  It wasn’t the match that Carson let define himself; rather Carson’s humility, respect for his opponent, and his honoring fairness shown through “against all opposition,” which, in this case, was a loss.  

Throughout the day, we all had seen loss bring out the worst in a few of the participants: young men, transforming themselves into little boys actually stomping around angry that they were fairly beat, complaining, whining, and some even refusing to shake their opponent’s hand.  Not Carson.  Not Issaquah!


Grant Strassell told me after the match: “I thought it was really cool to see Carson walk off the mat and not lose his composure.  Carson is a state placer, and he lost to somebody that he shouldn’t of lost to.  But he faced his loss, saw what he did wrong, and learned what he could do better next time.  Even though Carson’s life seems to be all wrestling, he isn’t wrapped up in his own glory like other wrestlers without strong character.  Carson knows strong character matters more than personal glory, and I really respect that.” 

This is your team; this is our team!  I am proud to watch such fine character be brought to the mats and see healthy respect flourish.  If heroes are made of character, we have a lot of heroes in the making! Go Issaquah. Go Eagles. 

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