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Undefeated Wrestler Steps Up in Loss to Special Needs Opponent

By Cody Porter on January 29, 2016 blog

David conquered Goliath in a match-up of wrestlers from opposing Massachusetts high schools on January 23.

Norton High School’s Deven Schuko stepped onto the mat that Saturday boasting a 27-match winning streak and undefeated record. At day’s end, he was undefeated no more at the hands of this tale’s David, Sighton-Rehoboth’s Andy Howland.

"He wanted a match, and I wanted to tangle with him," Schuko said to Boston’s ABC5 WCVB.

Howland, a special needs wrestler, competes at the junior varsity level. When Schuko learned he was looking for someone to take on, Norton coach Patrick Coleman said his “class act” wrestler jumped at the chance.

"If I had to lose to someone, I'd like to lose to Andy," Schuko said. "It was a win-win in my book. He won, I won."

A team co-captain and recognized leader for the Lancers, Schuko didn’t downplay the loss. “He put me in that front headlock," he said to NBC7 News WHDH, adding that Howland used his strength to put him in some good moves.

The match came about without much fanfare, according to ABC5 WCVB, but a watchful parent recorded it with expectations that it would be a memorable moment.

"Deven has a natural respect for any wrestler, such as Andy, and I think Deven just proved there that it's never wrong to do the right thing," Coleman said.

Check out WCVB's and WHDH's report on Howland’s triumph, featuring interviews with the two combatants.