It's been 3 years since I started filming Stand Up, Reel Nation Media's first feature doc, with Cevon, Joe, and the CD East Wrestling Team. Wrestler's have come and gone, but the team's heart has stayed the same. That heart is to always defy defeat by keeping on wrestling strong through victory or defeat. As Coach Book says in the film, "In wrestling, it's just not on the mat that you can win, it's what you learn from it."
This year I had the great pleasure to revisit the team and even volunteer coach mid-way through the season. I worked alongside with student team manager, Jalyn Smith, to take photos throughout the season! Check out the new and old faces! Interested on what's been going on since the movie was filmed? Read on below the slideshow.
Coach Book is now an assistant coach, making Coach Woodall now head coach. Practices have not changed as much though, because their methods are not too different. Overall the team did really well with a 9-7 record by the end of the season, and placing one wrestler to districts, Tyler Moyer (2017). Tyler was present during the filming of Stand Up, but he wasn't present in the film due to an injury that prevented his wrestling.
Cevon, moving on to being a junior, is doing extremely well at Old Dominion. His GPA is high and his future shines bright. He has yet to get on the wrestling mat competitively again though. I talked to his father at the Harrisburg Stand Up screening, and I was told that, despite the peer pressure on him to wrestle, Cevon has other priorities (that I don't want to spoil yet). His father has no doubt that wrestling has played a huge part in making him the excelling student and person he is today.
Joe is now moving on to his third year in the Marines. We still stay in touch time to time, but it's not as easy to measure his progress as it is for Cevon because of the nature of being in the military. Plus I'm just a measly civilian who doesn't know much. Joe being in the Marines and leading a great life with it is a testament to his character on its own though. I see his family often at wrestling matches for his little brother who is kicking butt on the junior level.
EDIT: I found out from Joe that his goal is to fulfill 20 years in the Marines. Proud of of him!
Mahlon is now at the University of Pitt, doing great things for sure. Dom is just graduating from East! Congrats! Jordan is now working professionally and being the awesome guy he is. I also saw him at the Harrisburg screening. Eric, Coach Book's son, will be moving on to his senior year, hopefully making it to states in 2018. He made it to districts in 2016, but fell short in 2017 due to his weight class' crazy state-qualifier populated sectional bracket.
It was such a good year with the East High Wrestling team. It made me miss wrestling, miss working on Stand Up, and miss my wrestling family even more. Screening Stand Up in Harrisburg was one of the highest moments of my life. Seeing the team celebrate its own spirit and accomplishments by cheering and crying by the credits was beautiful to witness.
The BEST wrestling family ever. Love you, CD East Wrestling! Way to Stand Up!
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