Wrestling provides life experiences, becomes family tradition

Mikey Kahoe, Associate Editor

Before the match, Zayne Lehman paces back and forth, looking up into the stands to see all the people there to watch him. When the whistle blows, all the nerves and pressure associated with a championship wrestling match leave his body. Minutes later, with a smack of the mat, a whistle blows. Lehman Jumps into the air with pure excitement. The crowd roars. He has just pinned his opponent. Lehman walks to the center of the mat where the referee raises his hand to signal victory. He has just won the Bill Dies memorial tournament. 

This is the moment every wrestler looks forward to, and the Lehman brothers, Zeck and Zayne, are no exception. Zayne Lehman has been wrestling for thirteen years. Wrestling in the 170 pound weight class, he is an Ohio national team member, All American and a two time district qualifier.

Zeck graduated from Revere four years ago. He is currently in his last year of competition at Baldwin Wallace University, wrestling at 197 pounds. While wrestling at Revere, Zeck placed third and fifth in the OHSAA state tournament, and has since become an NCAA Division-three all-American. 

Zayne and Zeck are not the first in their family to wrestle. Their father Scott and two of their cousins also wrestled. Zayne explained how his family has affected his wrestling career. 

“It has affected my wrestling career significantly because my parents have believed and supported me my whole life, sending me to camps and letting me wrestling in tournaments all over the country and paying for everything. . . . My sisters are constantly supporting me at every time and constantly encouraging,” Lehman said.

The Lehmans’ younger sister Macie Lehman explained the effect her brothers wrestling has on her.

“It creates a spark of love for the sport for me. If my brothers weren’t wrestlers, and I didn’t get the opportunity to see the day-to-day life of hard working wrestlers, then my opinion would definitely be less passionate towards the whole lifestyle of a wrestler and the sport,” Lehman said

Wrestling has caused the brothers to grow closer over time. From watching wrestling together to practice together, they spend a lot of time around the sport. Zeck explained the significance of this on their relationship. 

“It gives us another way to connect and relate. We have always loved watching wrestling together, but now with Zayne getting older, bigger, stronger and more serious about the sport, it has made it even better because now I can train with him,” Lehman said.

Wrestling is a sport where one can compete all year long. Zayne explained what effect wrestling year-round has on him.

“It has turned into my life now; every decision I make revolves around wrestling. I wrestle from November to August and get two free months out of the year, which are taken by football. It has taught me so much in life and brought upon me so many great role models,” Lehman said.

Wrestling requires a certain discipline in eating healthy and maintaining weight that is not needed in some other sports. The Lehmans’ mother, Georgia Lehman spoke about what it means to have that discipline.

“I truly admire their will power to work hard and eat healthy.  It’s a great feeling to watch them do their thing and come out with a raised hand.  It doesn’t always end that way and the defeats they face are very hard to watch but I know it is a lesson learned,” Lehman said.

Zayne plans to continue wrestling in college and pursue his dream of becoming a Division 1 All-American. After college Zeck plans to spend his time helping his brother achieve his goals, and possibly coach wrestling for others.