TRIBUTE TO COACH MIKE STUMP

(03/24/2010)

Dear Editor,

When Coach Wayne Underwood died in 1964, Coach Roy Virden wrote some beautiful words about him and the way in which he influenced the lives of young men and caused them to aspire to great things.

He said something like "It is unfortunate that we wait until great men die before we say good things about them".

I've watched Coach Mike Stump for a number of years become a coaching legend in our state in the wrestling program, and each of those years I thought I should say something.

For many years the Calhoun County Wrestling program has finished in the top 5 in the state tournament.

I'm sure there are many coaches around the state envious of his record. This year the team finished second and produced three state champions with other athletes finishing in the top five, this consistency is a remarkable feat for any school.

Every year I see former athletes that Mike has coached return to assist with the program. That is testament as how they must feel about the guy that coached them, Mike has inspired them to give back to the program the loved.

I'm confident that Mike supports and appreciates the youth athletes and coaches that give of their time to deliver wrestlers already experienced when the get to Coach Stump.

I congratulate Coach Stump for the level of success he has brought to the Calhoun wrestling program, and for the influence he leaves with our athletes.

Mike Ritchie