Obstacles didn't keep Faulk from his crown
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
PELHAM – He suffered through severe back pain in 2004 after being injured in an automobile accident. He's battled asthma for his entire life, and it flared up again the opening night of the state championships. If you want to know about overcoming adversity, talk to Hartselle High's Adam Faulk.
Faulk captured the 189-pound title for the Tigers on Saturday, but his journey to a title had its share of obstacles to overcome.
"He's been through a lot the past few years," Hartselle coach Keith Corder said. "He lost in the finals by two points in 2003, got in a wreck a week before state last year and he just wasn't himself and took third place. Then his asthma started acting up on Friday night and I thought, 'Here we go again. Something else is going to happen and prevent Adam from winning a title.'"
Faulk's asthma began acting up after his opening match on the state championship's first day. His nerves got the best of him and brought on the attack.
"I had a hard time breathing after my first match," Faulk said. "I had been hit in the mouth and felt light-headed during the match. I think that's what started it. I was getting nervous, and when I'm nervous I can have problems breathing."
But Faulk had plenty of experience in overcoming misfortune. In 2004, the night before the sectionals, he took his girlfriend to dinner. On the way back home, he was rear-ended as he turned onto Kyle Road.
The vehicle that hit his truck was traveling 50 miles per hour. Faulk was shaken, but felt he was OK. He would decide 45 minutes later he needed medical attention and went to the hospital. He was released at 1 a.m. and later the same day won his weight class at the sectional meet.
The wreck, however, had taken a toll on his body. With each passing day the pain in his back increased. By the time the state championships came around, Faulk could not take even one step completely erect. He slumped forward as he walked. Despite his condition, he mustered up the courage to compete and took third place. He and his coach both felt the auto accident cost him a state title.
The memory of the mishap ran through his mind last weekend after his breathing problem developed. Faulk would show how gutsy he could be by continuing on and reaching the state final against Heath Butler of Erwin. Butler entered the match with a 38-0 record this season.
"I keep thinking to myself, 'I don't want to miss out on winning again this year,'" Faulk said. "I knew if I did it's something which would stick with me the rest of my life."
Faulk scored two takedowns in the first four minutes of the final and held a 4-1 lead entering the final period. Butler would score a takedown in the third period to cut Faulk's lead to one point, 4-3. However, Faulk was confident he could hold off the Erwin grappler. He had pinned Butler twice in last year's state tournament and felt he was stronger of the two athletes.
Faulk added another two-pointer late in the match to seal the win at 6-3. He had finally overcome all obstacles in his path.
"I finally felt like a success," Faulk said. "Being a state champion was my goal a long time. I had worked to reach it for years. My dream had finally come true."