Opinions: The little things: Up in arms

Dedication and hard work comes from the little things.

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Hannah Mellor

I attending my cousin, Sam’s wrestling meet to cheer him on, only to have him shove a bloody tissue in my face after he got a bloody nose.

The University of Missouri held the 2017 Missouri Wrestling State tournament in Columbia, this past weekend.

EHS had six state qualifiers this year: Brendan Carter, 220 lbs; Kyle Dickhaus, 182 lbs; Matt Gentry, 160 lbs; Alec Hagan, 152 lbs; Kyran Hagan, 145 lbs; and Ryan Lester, 126 lbs.

Out of the six qualifiers, two of them won the state title: Dickhaus and Alec Hagan.

I am beyond proud of these Wildcats, but I am also proud of a Rockwood Summit Falcon.

Sam Frankowski (10) who is also the 132 lbs 2017 State Champion.

Sam and I have grown up together since we were a couple months old along with my other cousin, Ben Frankowski.

Ben and Sam are more than cousins; they are my best friends.

We spent almost every day of our childhood at our grandparents Nancy and Dave Mellor’s house making memories.

We would play dress up and fight over the pirate costume.

And we would get into trouble.

When my grandma walked into the play room only to find us drawing Sharpie on each other’s faces (except for me) we worked together (after 10 minutes of blaming each other) to convince her that we knew not to do it again.

We all got lectured, and it was worth it.

While Ben and I were more rivals growing up, I always knew Sam was on my team.

As we would play with our toy Nerf guns, Ben would always be the person to aim at me, but Sam would jump infront of me and aim at Ben.

We had our lower moments, but Sam was and still is unconditionally respectful and caring.

He always took into consideration what everybody else wanted. Every time we watched a movie together, Sam always made sure everyone was happy with what we were watching. If somebody wasn’t, he would fix it by finding a movie everyone would enjoy. We must have watched “We’re the Millers” at least four times out of compromise.

While Sam was the sweeter one, he did not mess around when it came to wrestling.

After winning state, it has never been clearer to me. All the little things in our childhood have led up to something greater.

No matter how many times he pinned me to the ground or told on me to grandma, I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up with anybody else.

I would get so irritated with him to the point where I would clench my fists and grind my teeth every time he missed my birthday party or couldn’t come over to my grandma’s house to watch a movie because he had wrestling. He was the one person who mattered and whose absence I felt.

I would get so heated and just want to scream my lungs out when we would wrestle on my grandma’s carpet only to have him pin me in two seconds.  

He would always teach me a headlock, but I never could do it, which only led to me crying out of frustration.

While I missed him at those parties and at grandma’s house as we grew older–now, after his state win–I have never been so proud of him.

I wasn’t there to experience it in person, but I was two hours away at home cheering him on.

As I got the text from my grandma that Sam had one his final match to earn the state title, I cried with happiness.

Clearly, I am a crier but never have I cried because I was so happy.

I realized the little things got Sam to where he is now.

Something bigger followed those little things. These past nine years of roughhousing and wrestling have paid off. The two-hour practices every day after school for eight seasons were worth it.

So the next time I sit through a presentation on the effects of alcohol for the umpteenth time fighting gravity to stay awake, I will look ahead to what is to follow.

I jump through this hoop so I can make it to the next round. I check off this requirement so I can graduate and pursue a course of study that will lead me to my sports journalism career.

Maybe one day I will report on a professional athlete fighting his alcoholism. Maybe my story will help future athletes avoid that fate.

Just like Sam, I have to be able to do the little things to accomplish the big ones.