A Minnesota Class 3A state high school wrestling contender may have lost his match, but he won the hearts of many this week.
St. Michael Alberville High School sophomore Mitchell McKee wanted to win the state championship for his father, and he did by pinning Blaine High sophomore Malik Stewart around 1:22 in the face-off.
McKee’s father is battling terminal cancer and has just months to live. What Stewart did after the win was nothing short of wonderful.
Losing the state title, Stewart could have walked away, but he chose to do something that would stun many in the arena.
“He won,” said Stewart. “He was pretty proud, and his dad was pretty proud. So I went over there and I shook his hand, embraced him a little bit, and told him to stay strong and everybody loves him.”
Stewart didn’t stop there. He shook the hands of McKee’s coaches and then ran over to McKee’s dad, Steve, again offering a handshake and an embrace. “He took that upon himself, knew Mitchell’s father was over there gave him a hug and congratulated him,” said Josh Prokosch, the Blaine Bengal’s head wrestling coach.
Stewart said the emotions of greater loss settled in. “I got a little teary because I lost the match, and I knew the hard times he was going through. The crowd went wild and I heard a couple people say after I did it – that was pretty classy – but I just did it straight from the heart,” said Stewart.
Stewart knows the pain that McKee is going through. When he was seven he lost his father, not to cancer, but a heart attack.
Well done Malik.
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