CLARENCE — Every wrestler’s goal is to end the match with a pin and, at North Cedar High School, those pins don’t go unnoticed.
Whenever a Knight wrestler pins his opponent, the cheerleaders hand the wrestler a safety pin. This has been a long-standing tradition for 30 some years.
“Years and years ago, we used to do it back when I was in high school, not quite sure how it got started but it was a good a way to recognize and remember the boy’s pins and it was a fun idea, “ said former cheerleading coach Lori Randolph.
Todd Hoefler, a former wrestling coach and wrestler, said he always liked the pins.
“It is like a little trophy for the wrestler’s accomplishment,” he said. “Getting a pin is the ultimate goal of every match, so when you are presented with a baby pin it shows you have reached that goal.”
When the wrestler pins his opponent, they are excited because they won by the most dominate fashion. As the wrestlers steps off the mat, a cheerleader presents him with a pin and usually a hug. Many times the crowd is not aware of this tradition because they are getting ready to watch the next match.
“I feel very good when I’m presented with a pin,” said senior Byron Boleyn, who wrapped up his final season last month. “I have earned 42 over my wrestling career.”
Freshman Tyler Thurston had 17 pins last season.
“Wrestlers usually put them on a hat or the strap of their wrestling bag,” he said. “I feel as if it is just another win in the books.”
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A total of 93 pins were given out last season, North Cedar athletics director Adam Hadenfeldt said.
Although this season over, when you see safety pins on a backpack or wrestling bag you know they are a wrestler’s small trophies.