Shaving heads in support of Derricklee

Pictured are; First row, from left; James Hamilton, Jake Graham, Game Rolon. Second row, from left; Mark Dawson, Jensen Cooper, Issac Olson and Jacob Graham. Photo provided

What Eagle Grove wrestler Mark Dawson decided to start has quickly spread to other members of the team in a wonderful show of support for fellow teammate Derricklee Harms in his battle with cancer.

“Once they found out about Derricklee, they started scheming ways they could help him and not just with medical bills but with support mentally,” stated head coach Jake Groth. “They were all so worried about him feeling alone and in being so far away from Eagle Grove. That became their most important mission, to make him feel he was still a part of the team even if he cannot compete.”

Thus began a head-shaving ritual that started with Dawson and now has also included Gabe Rolon, Damon Richter, Issac Olson, Jensen Cooper and both Jake & Josh Graham. “My initial reaction was ‘well a few might’, but I didn’t realize that so many had no issue with shaving their heads,” said the coach. “In a day and age of ‘image is everything’, I was right there when the boys decided to do it without hesitation during conversation in the wrestling room.” Groth admits he was proud of them for putting into action what he stresses to the team, which is ‘stay together in good times and bad and always put others first!’ “I got a little emotional,” added Groth. “The coaching profession can take you over likt sometimes.”

He explained that, upon a visit to Iowa City see Harms, he seems to be doing well. “Coaches Demuth and Schafer and myself went with three of the student athletes to visit him awhile back, and he was all smiles like he always is,” said Groth. “He wanted to know how we were doing, and we swapped sports stories and laughed for about three hours. We tried to keep it upbeat.” Groth seemed to think that it was like Harms didn’t care that he had medical concerns swirling around him, and that he just wanted to live and be in the moment. He shared for this story that Harms chemo treatments are progressing well and of course he has lost his hair. “I really think he’s that intimidating that he scared his hair away!” said the coach. “You are never going to keep that kid down, and I mean that. He simply isn’t like that.”

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