Why some wrestlers are wearing rival's colors

Posted at 4:33 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 17:43:50-05

Over the next few days at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, the sound of the whistle will fill the air and wrestling mats will cover the floor.

Kids, parents, and play-by-play guys are watching for moments at  the high school state wrestling championships.

To an outsider, it can look overwhelming with 10 matches going on at a time.

Dozens of teams, lots of rivals

The Valentine Badgers bleed red. They're a small, class C school, but they're die-hard. The last thing you'd expect to see is their fans wearing blue, the color of their rivals.

"Especially in wrestling, it was Centennial. We were neck and neck with them last year," Robert Joseph, a former wrestler and Valentine radio sportscaster said.

Last year, that neck-and-neck match was lost to Centennial High's Doyle Trout. That win made Trout a four-time state champ.

"This is a guy that broke our hearts last year, coming from the school that beat us a couple of times in the finals," Joseph said.

Then, on Easter 2015, Trout crashed his car and life changed forever. Trout, the state wrestling champ, with a scholarship to the University of Wyoming, lost part of his left leg. He's continued with rehab and has plans to wrestle again.

"I was in the car for about 45 minutes and then they got me out of the car and then I took a helicopter to Bryan West," Trout said at the time.

Which brings us back to this year's meet and rivals Valentine. They've swapped their red for blue, selling shirts that say "Badgers backing Doyle." To date, they've raised $3,500 for their one-time rival.

So while over the next few days kids, parents, and everyone else will be glued to the leaderboard and total wins and losses, we think we've found some champions in a class of their own.