By Ben Robinson
COLUMBUS — The sport of wrestling has never come easy for Versailles senior Jerome Bey, known simply as Bo.
So when Bey was forced to injury default his consolation quarterfinal match Friday night to Kian Thompson of Oak Harbor, the decision to return on Saturday and actually compete on the mat for seventh place against Tom McKale of Newbury was an easy one – despite the intense pain Bey knew he would be in.
“He hurt his knee earlier in the year and it never really healed,” said Versailles coach A.J. Bey. “He hurt it again in the quarterfinal against the Carey kid (Tanner May) and we had to take him to the doctor. The doctor gave us the option to either drain the knee immediately because of all of the fluid on the knee or wait until after the rest of the tournament as long as Bo could take the pain. Bo decided to go (wrestle) and it worked out well for us.”
The fact that Bo Bey wrestled was miraculous in itself, but to gut out a 5-2 win for seventh place was simply amazing.
“Not a lot of people can do what he did here fully healthy, let alone with an injury like that,” said A.J. Bey. “To get over here and finish on the podium is a great way to end his career.”
And Bey sealed his career defining match by doing what he did to even step onto the mat – by taking a chance. Locked up with his opponent, Bey went big for a five-point move – recording a takedown straight to the back for three near fall points.
It was all he needed as his adrenaline carried him through the remainder of the final match of his career.
“Not a lot of people win their last final match of their career, especially over here (at state),” said A.J. Bey.
And finishing on the podium is something Bo is extremely proud of considering his initial goal to start the season was to get to state and hopefully win a match.
“It’s awesome,” Bo said of finishing on the podium. “I set my goal to get here and win a match, so I guess that shows you are capable of accomplishing more than you think can if you work hard. This is a great feeling.”
Bo’s father Jerry has seen his son develop over the years and couldn’t be more proud of what he has accomplished despite the adversity.
“It’s emotional,” Jerry Bey said. “I told myself I wasn’t going to get emotional after this match, but I can’t help it. He’s been in our wrestling room since he was a year old and to see him walk out of here as a state placer is very gratifying.”
Still, it is bittersweet for Jerry as it is the final time he gets to coach his son from the corner.
“That’s the hard part for me personally,” he said. “But he has so much more to look forward too. He’s a 4.0 student and has been accepted into the Biomedical Science Program at Ohio State.”
For now, however, father and son can enjoy a phenomenal accomplishment together.