Beaverton Wrestling Brothers, Champions Welcomed Home By Community, Police Escort
“It was awesome. It made me really proud to represent Beaverton.”
A small town brought two high school state champions back home in grand style — and it was a total surprise.
Over the weekend, Beaverton High School sent six wrestlers downstate to the state tournament.
Out of the six, two of them were brothers.
Both won, becoming state champions.
Word traveled quickly back home and what happened next, you would have to see to believe.
“It’s just our way of showing, hey, we really, really appreciate what they’ve done for this community,” says Sgt. Joseph Rowley, Michigan State Police.
For Kyle and Eric Cassidy, wrestling doesn’t just run in their family — something that many like State Police sergeant Joseph Rowley noticed.
“They are brothers,” Sgt. Rowley says. “They are coached by their father who has been there their entire life, obviously, but was there on the mat with him when they got their wins for the state championship.”
So, back home, Sgt. Rowley and others, including the wrestling team, went to work as the Cassidy family made their way home.
“My mom was on the phone and this and that,” Kyle Cassidy says. “I was like mom, why are you on the phone? And she’s like, it’s work, it’s work. We started slowing down coming out of the Beaverton exit and there’s a police car. I’m like wait a minute, what?”
It was a full police escort, waiting to bring them to another surprise.
Dozens of students, along with faculty of both Beaverton and Gladwin schools and the rest of the Beaverton wrestling team, lined the high school parking lot.
The escort led the Cassidys’ van through the middle, into a hero’s welcome.
“I’m already like shocked, like, that [the escort] was already enough for me. I was in awe,” Kyle says.
“I saw my friends, family, just kind of the meaning of Beaverton,” Eric Cassidy says. “I saw just a group of people being welcomed with open arms and celebrating our victory and the town’s victory.”
Eric, who had promised his mother, Kelli, he would have his mullet shaved off if he won — had a surprise haircut.
“This is Eric’s senior year,” Kelli says. “This is something that, as a parent, you could only wish for these kind of memories for your kids, so for this to happen his senior year is something that I don’t think he will ever forget.”
Memories of his father and brother on the mat — and the cheering of a triumphant return home, reminding the boys what it’s all about.
“It just makes those moments in your life so much better because they’ve been with you, their pushing you,” Eric says. “They are the reason that you are there. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be in my corner.”
“It’s really cool to be able to walk around like, you know, you’re a Cassidy,” Kyle says. “It’s really honoring, really. Just to see everyone who has my back, win or lose.”
Incidentally, the Gladwin hockey team also were named state champions on the same weekend.
Hours after the Cassidys were led into Beaverton, the hockey team was also welcomed back with fire truck and police escort.
“I think something that gets overlooked a lot is hard work and dedication,” Sgt. Rowley says. “This is a classic example of two boys from the same family, they grew up together, brothers wrestling in the yard and stuff like that…but because of their hard work and just continued dedication to this sport. This is a huge lesson for everybody.”