The end of another wrestling season has arrived and last night was the annual wrestling banquet to recognize and honor the athletes, their families and all those who helped make the year a success. The event was well attended, filling the room to capacity.
After the meal, the wrestlers presented their mothers, grandmothers, or "mother figure" a flower to show their love and appreciation. Then the boys lined up at the front of the room and one by one the coaches told a little bit about each one and related a story concerning their interaction with them throughout the year. This was followed by the customary plaques, awards and photo sessions.
At the conclusion of the presentations, Coach Boyd announced Ray's upcoming retirement and expressed his love and appreciation for everything he has done for kids over the past 38+ years in which he taught and coached teenagers. He presented Ray with a beautiful plaque and a parent gave him a little bear wearing an AVHS letterman's jacket. As Ray accepted these gifts, there was a tearful standing ovation.
When everyone was seated once again, all the wrestlers made their way to Ray and circled around him. Several of them took the microphone and expressed their feelings then the team captain said, " One last time, on Coach!" and they placed their hands on him, saying, "Devils on 3! 1-2-3, DEVILS!" After handshakes, hugs and a lot of nose blowing we were reminded of that saying : You should retire when people are still sad to see you go.