A Central Oregon father and son who attended the same university decades apart and competed on the wrestling team and accepted a first of its kind opportunity.
They wrestled each other.
“This one was special,” said Simon White. “It was just one of those things where I don’t think very many adults get to participate in a sport with their kids and do something that they both love. It was a special moment for the two of us, for sure.”
Simon is an Montana State University – Northern alum. His son, Reece, is now a sophomore at his dad’s alma mater.
The two squared off in a wrestling match during the program’s alumni dual. It’s an event where old wrestlers come back to battle the new kids, but never has this included a father-son combination until the Whites rolled in.
“They (teammates) would always ask, you get to wrestle your dad,” said Reece.” So cool! They liked it.”
Reece is a recent Madras High School wrestler and a graduate.
Simon, who’s worked for Jefferson County School District for more than 20 years, was a junior college national champion and an all-American at MSU-Northern.
The two were given a unique opportunity to face one another.
“Alumni get a little bit of a break,” Simon said. “So, it’s three one-minute periods, unlimited time out and we don’t have to make weight.
“I was going to kick his butt,” Reece said. “Yeah. We would have fights in the kitchen about it quite often, actually.”
Simon, the 1996 alumni, wrested his 184-pound son.
“I was just trying to keep him off of me, really,” Reece said. “He is a big guy compared to me, so he would have squashed me.
“I just did what I can just to survive,” he said. “So it was you. And my point, I would say I won by points, but it was one of those things where it was just I didn’t want to get thrown.”
Simon’s win helped tip the scales in favor of the alumni. But for both of them, the match is much more than the result.
“Pretty emotional,” Simon said. “Just knowing that he’s kind of following in the footsteps of his mom and dad. He’s a he’s going to be an educator also like us. And so the wrestling is just kind of the cherry on top.”