Wrestling is to the state of Iowa what basketball is to the state of Kentucky. For whatever reason, Iowa has excelled in the sport of wrestling. Since 1970, schools from the state of Iowa have won the NCAA National Championship in wrestling a total of 28 times! So wrestling is a big deal to them.
Enter Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore who was 35-4 during the regular season, but this past week defaulted out of his opening Iowa State Tournament match at 112 pounds. Why would he refuse to wrestle and throw away his chance at such a huge event? The answer is because his opponent was a girl. Joel thinks that the physical contact involved in wrestling is inappropriate between a boy and a girl. So rather than violate his conscience, he defaulted in the match, the victory was given to the girl, and his chances of being a state champion passed him by.
Since this young man’s decision, some have accused him of just being a coward; being afraid to lose to a girl. Others have ridiculed his decision as being puritan, but with respect to me, he’s gained a fan!
The cost of conviction can sometimes be great, but the rewards of integrity are always substantially greater!