Zach's last match - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Zach's last match


ST. CHARLES, Minn. (KTTC)-- The St. Charles High School wrestling team has been competing to be one of the best in their division recently, but one senior in particular has been getting the most attention the past few years.

"He likes sports, likes to hunt, wrestle, football, baseball just like anyone else," says St. Charles wrestling coach Travis Ball.

Zach Thesing is a teenager of few words and it mainly has to do with the fact that the 18-year-old has down syndrome, but four years ago coach Ball saw something in Zach and decided to give him a chance.

"He gets everybody going, I mean even in the wrestling room he's a big cheerleader, he yells at the boys, get going," Balls says about Zach's time with the team.

Zach was brought on as a team manager when he was a freshman four years ago, since then he's been given the chance to wrestle one match with his team every single year.

Even though Thesing isn't a star athlete, Ball says, "There is probably no other wrestler on the mat that the crowd goes wild for as much as they do for him."

Since then... coach Ball decided one match every season would belong to Zach.

"There's no way we couldn't give it to him, I mean it's his highlight of the year."

On a recent Thursday night, Zach and his team headed to Rushford for one of their final matches of the season, it also happened to be the final match of Zach's high school career.

"Even though maybe he's been cut a little slack because he doesn't have the ability, he's down there, he's wrestling for real," said Zach's mom Jo sitting in the bleachers of the gym.

Jo and her husband Phil don't want other kids to feel sorry for their son, they only hope other people can learn from him.

"I feel almost honored that I can give him that and that he can be like everyone else," said Tucker Speltz who was wrestling against Zach that night.

As Zach took to the mat, the crowd of nearly 300 people went wild and while the outcome probably wasn't a big surprise to anyone in the gym that day it didn't make what unfolded over the next two and a half minutes when Zach won his final match.

"I think that he's proud of himself and Zach doesn't really have a lot of moments where he can be proud of himself," says Zach's mom.

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