Earlier than I knew a lot about wrestling, I’d spend a lot of the twin trying within the stands in awe of the spectator’s reactions. By far, my favourite reactions all the time got here from the wrestling mothers – there was Mrs. Shirey who would disguise on the facet of the bleachers, solely peeking on the rating on the Jumbotron, however by no means on the precise match, or Mrs. Dessino, who by no means blinked whereas her son wrestled (this can be a true talent, I’ve tried it). I can not overlook Mrs. Roosa, who had no drawback letting her son know she was in his nook and what he wanted to do to win (she was all the time proper). These ladies have been one way or the other in a position to bear the feelings, the strain and the ache that their sons felt every time they took to the mat.
Till I met Leya Deickman, wrestling mothers have been the not-to-be-messed-with wrestling followers, fully devoted to the game and their athlete, however Leya gave new that means to the time period “wrestling mother.” Leya Deickman, a Texas native, was launched to the game of wrestling her sophomore 12 months by her very persistent highschool conditioning coach, Marco Chavez. Regardless of by no means listening to of girls’s wrestling, Leya, a seasoned volleyball participant, was decided to offer the game a shot (no pun supposed). She labored laborious each on and off the mat, desperate to be taught, however fell brief at regionals, getting cradled in simply 12 seconds of her first match. Regardless of her lack of success on the mat, her love for the game was in full bloom and she or he knew she would come again subsequent season even stronger. Nevertheless, quickly after her first wrestling season ended, Leya grew to become pregnant. Throughout that very same time, she was knowledgeable her mother and father have been being restationed throughout the nation, to North Carolina. It appeared as if this new wrestler was going to hold up her wrestling footwear for good.
After ending her sophomore 12 months of highschool in Texas, the very pregnant Leya moved to North Carolina to be along with her mother and father, “You already know being pregnant takes such a toll in your physique mentally and bodily. Though it was an extremely transformative expertise, it was tremendous scary being so younger. I acquired bizarre stares and judgments. I wasn’t preferred amongst my friends for coming from a brand new faculty pregnant and having one of many highest GPAs, which stirred the category rankings. It was very lonely.” Regardless of her new circumstances, Leya was decided to proceed her laborious work within the classroom and it paid off; she shortly earned one of many highest GPAs in her grade at Hoke County Excessive.
At 17 years outdated and after a really tough labor, Leya was pressured to have a C-section which stored her from returning to high school for 9 weeks! Decided to not fall behind, and with the assist of her devoted academics, Leya maintained her GPA and surpassed these of her friends. As if that wasn’t spectacular sufficient, this new mom took full duty for her son Kendall Jr. Whereas Leya’s mom watched Kendall throughout the faculty hours, upon Leya’s return from the classroom, Leya remodeled from full-time pupil to full-time mom as quickly as she stepped within the door.
After taking just some months off from sports activities, it was within the fall of her Senior 12 months at Hoke Excessive that Leya expressed an curiosity in wrestling once more; however with no sanctioned ladies crew, her solely possibility was to hitch the boy’s crew. Now balancing her duties as a mom, her teachers, volleyball, the Math crew and Nationwide Honor Society, Leya as soon as once more added wrestling to her resume. “I had my fair proportion of matches making boys cry, however I wrestled at 160 for probably the most half, so biologically, I used to be at an obstacle. Coach all the time tried to persuade me to drop to 138, however that wasn’t taking place.” Leya appeared to work with what she had, embracing each impediment and even rising to hunt new challenges, so it got here as no shock when Ferrum School recruited her with simply two years of wrestling expertise beneath her belt.
Upon graduating highschool third in her class in June of 2016, this wrestling mother was aiming for fulfillment as soon as once more each on and off the mat and she or he was not going to permit tough circumstances to carry her again. As an alternative, she used her son and the duties she held as a mom, to propel her ahead. Leya can now admit trying again, she felt as if she had one thing to show. She wished to point out the world that she might and she or he would obtain what she got down to do–and she did simply that.
At the same time as a smaller faculty, Ferrum provided household housing, and with the help of Kendall’s father, Leya acquired the assist she wanted to determine herself in faculty within the classroom and the wrestling room whereas nonetheless being a loving and accountable father or mother to her lovely son. For this overachiever, it wasn’t sufficient; she added the function of President of Save the Subsequent Woman and finally grew to become an RA. It appeared as if everybody rallied behind Leya and Kendall–girls on the wrestling crew, college students and even professors and coaches provided to assist with Kendall, giving that means to the cliche, “it takes a village to lift a baby.”
Leya made each single second depend, “In between courses and through breaks, I’d go to the library and do homework. That method, I might give attention to being a pupil throughout the day, an athlete within the night, and a mother at evening.” She gave each function 100% effort and continued to embrace each problem with grace and gratitude. The coach who recruited Leya to hitch the ladies’s wrestling crew finally left and the assistant coach of the boys’s crew, Ryan Riggs, stepped in to satisfy the function, but it surely appeared as if practices have been extra demanding bodily and mentally, which pushed the crew to its brink. In true wrestlers style, these ladies did not run from the problem however used it to create a crew, a household and this household went by means of all of it collectively. In Leya’s time at Ferrum, the teaching employees modified thrice, however with every new coach, Leya realized extra about herself and extra about wrestling. It was the flexibility to adapt and persevere that led Leya to kind such a powerful optimistic mentality. Regardless of falling brief within the blood rounds her senior 12 months at Nationals, Leya grew to become this system’s first Educational All-American in 2018. Ferrum shortly took discover of this multi-talented pupil and mom; upon commencement, Leya was requested to take a place on the faculty and served as a graduate assistant for the ladies’s wrestling crew.
It appears this wrestling mother simply wasn’t completed with the game of wrestling. In actual fact, Covid and the pandemic left her crew in a really odd predicament. The squad was unable to safe sufficient athletes to compete, so Leya was requested to step in and compete as soon as once more. Now balancing a full-time job, being a mom to a 5-year-old and incomes a grasp’s diploma, Leya dedicated to 1 extra season. She fared effectively throughout the common season with a couple of vital victories, and when it got here time for Nationals, she was able to earn the closure she had been hoping for. With a first-round win by pin over Amara Devericks from Gannon, Leya was fired up. She confronted the 2nd seed in her 2nd spherical match and misplaced 3-0, adopted by two extra shut bouts that led to her remaining farewell to collegiate wrestling.
“There’s a plan in all the pieces that occurs even when it does not make sense. Due to this fact simply really feel the worry, embrace it, after which maintain going. There’s all the time a goal on the opposite facet. I would like anybody who has the slightest little bit of doubt to see my story and immediately really feel like they will do no matter they got down to be,” Leya could not have completed her wrestling objectives, however I am positive I am not alone in realizing simply how a lot she overcame. She now holds two Grasp’s levels from Ferrum, has a six-year-old son who believes, “wrestling is for women,” and is planning on at some point turning into a Dean of College students–which I little question, know she’s going to accomplish. This wrestler was fearless within the pursuit of greatness, permitting nothing to come back between her and the life she imagined for her small household. Leya, like most wrestlers, is an Overcomer who was simply constructed in a different way.