Wrestlers Reflect on the Loss of Devin Rose

July 18, 2010. For some of you, this was just another day. However, this is not the case; it was July 18, 2010, when BRFHS lost one of their own. Devin Rose’s life was cut short at the age of 16, leaving behind his loving family, friends and a team that will miss him dearly.

 “I hate to say it’s like losing a family member, but it is,” said wrestling coach Steve Markee. “Someone you spend a lot of time with during wrestling, they become your family and it’s hard to lose him.”

 Markee met Rose during wrestling. Wrestling was his favorite sport, and he was very good at it as well.

 “[The biggest thing that he brought to this sport] I think was his talent and his love for the sport. It was just incredible how much he loved it,” said Markee.

 His teammates agreed that he was talented and loved wrestling.

 “He could dish and take a pounding. He was a tough wrestler,” said his wrestling partner and friend Tyler Ewert.

 Coach Jason Harkner works with Markee during the wrestling season as well. Harkner shared a bond with Devin and has helped others to cope with the loss.

 “[Harkner] was also very close to him; we’ve spent a lot of time talking about Devin,” said Markee.

 It is not only the coaches who shared a bond with Devin.

 “Devin and I met when I was in the seventh grade in wrestling. We wrestled with each other all the way up until last year,” said Ewert. “We became friends and started to hang out, but the biggest thing we did together was wrestle.”

 Ewert and Devin were wrestling partners ever since they met. They usually chose to stick together, even outside of the sport. The two were close, and this was apparent to others.

 “He was just like me; everyone [on the team] knew that he was just like me,” said Ewert. “He was serious when he needed to be, but he liked to goof around.”

He was pretty normal like that; Devin was an average kid who worked hard for something he loved, but still had fun.

 “He was an average teenage boy–he had his good points and his bad points. I got to see him in a positive setting; I thought he was a great kid. He was a really good wrestler and will be missed this season,” said Markee.

 Though it may be painful to lose him, his loved ones still have positive memories of him to hold on to. One thing seemed to stick out with the wrestling family.

 “Every once in a while when he would win a match, he would come off the mat and say to me, ‘Heavy D is back!'” said Markee.

 Heavy D? What’s that all about?

 “He got the nickname because he couldn’t make weight, so Coach Harkner gave him the nickname Heavy D,” said Ewert. “When he would win, he would say it and pound his chest.”

 The season without Heavy D could be difficult on the wrestlers emotionally.

 “It’s going to be really hard, especially when we get on the mat, and the kids who wrestled with him every day don’t have him there anymore. The reality will set in,” said Markee.

 “The thing is, I’m graduating early because I’m going into the army, but I know that the team will be missing a huge part due to Devin’s loss,” said Ewert.

 It won’t be the same without Devin, but the team plans to work hard to have a successful season, just like Devin would want for them. Though wrestling was a big part of him, that’s not all that he will be remembered for.

 “He was one of my best friends,” said Ewert. “His accident has changed a lot in my life.”