Bittersweet ending for Farmer
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
PELHAM -He is a member of the Hartselle Tiger wrestling team, which just won 5A-state wrestling team. He described the victory as bittersweet. He missed out on his chance for a state title due to a shoulder injury, but the injury isn't the reason winning the title was joyful and saddening at the same time for him.
"It was great to hold up the trophy we had all worked so hard for," said Tiger wrestler Corey Farmer. "But then I began to realize we would never do this again as a high school team. A lot of us are seniors and most of us had wrestled our last matches."
Thinking of the team instead of himself is typical for the Tiger grappler, according to his head coach.
"Corey isn't an 'I' person," head coach Keith Corder said. "He's always been a 'we' person. He thinks of team first and himself second. It's what made watching him get injured and miss out on a title so hard for all of us.
"I'm sure he would have won his finals match. He's much better than the kid he was paired with."
Farmer injured his right shoulder when he hit the mat wrong during the opening period of the 152-pound final against Travis Erickson of Wetumpka.
The injury was similar to one Farmer suffered in 2003 while at a tournament in Tennessee.
"I felt bones moving around in there," Farmer said. "Just like two years ago. I came down on the mat the same way and separated my shoulder."
Due to the injury, Farmer was unable to continue and had to forfeit the match. Instead of a state championship, he finished runner-up for a third straight year.
Farmer was disappointed when the injury happened, but he felt it was of secondary importance to the team's goal.
"When it first happened, it seemed like 10 seasons of wrestling went down the drain," Farmer said.
"Then I began thinking about my friends on the team and all they had done and sacrificed. I thought, 'Would the team have won if they didn't put in all their hard work over the years?'
"I thought about what they had done to win us the team title and my personal loss began to seem very insignificant."
Farmer feels the loss has taught him an important life lesson.
"The injury teaches me I can't control everything," Farmer said.
"In spite of all the work and planning a person can do, something can come and take it all away. I've learned not to take anything in life for sure."
Farmer's teammates honored him after the tournament concluded when they asked him to accept the team championship trophy.
Farmer held the prize high with his left arm for all to see.
Farmer said the experience of obtaining the title was a confirmation that team goals are the most important goals of all.
"I saw my teammates give up things for this team to succeed," Farmer said.
"They gave up things which were very important to them so we could win a state championship. It proved something I learned early on from my parents and my older brother. It proved a group can achieve something greater than an individual ever could."