Honoring stricken competitor, HS wrestler refuses forfeit

Last month Austin Roberts, of Spencer, Iowa, was wrestling in a high school championship match when he collapsed. The wrestler, who hadn’t been defeated all season, died a few hours later.

Late last week, Amed Castro-Chavez of Estherville-Lincoln Central High School, was poised for a win by forfeit when his squad visited Spencer. With Roberts’ death, there was no one to wrestle Castro-Chavez in the 220-pound weight class.

But Castro-Chavez refused to accept the victory, the Sioux City Journal reports this week.

Instead, he walked over to Roberts’ mother and hugged her, shook hands with Roberts’ grandfather and said he wanted to honor the young man.

“I wanted to show Austin’s family respect, because they are grieving,” Castro-Chavez told the paper. “I told Austin’s mom that I wished I could wrestle Austin again, because he was such a good wrestler.”

“Classy move, and it wasn’t anything we expected,” Spencer wrestling co-head coach Adam Gress tells the Spencer Daily Reporter. “Then, for the kid to go over and talk to Lori (Roberts) afterwards, just a class act. Coach Hewitt and his boys and his coaches have been nothing but supportive for us in this ordeal. Those guys have been there for us, and that just kind of put an exclamation point on it with a classy gesture.”