BONNERS FERRY — Being involved in school sports can be fun, challenging, rewarding, and not only team building, but self building. Having the encouragement of the coaches and teammates, helps one push themselves to be their best both physically and mentally.
There is a local wrestling coach who has been a positive influence to young wrestlers over the past 34 seasons: Conrad Garner. Some members of the community have come together to show their support and thanks for all the Coach has done for them and their children.
“Garner has been a tremendous role model to my son (Gabe) and many others,” said Greg See. “He has helped so many young men transform from boy to young man and learn how to stand tall in the face of adversity and challenges, take disappointment in stride, and to reap what you sow.”
The Bonners Ferry wrestling team had 15 athletes qualify for the 3A state tournament, and three of them placed and earned medals in their weight class.
“Coach Garner has influenced so many kids over the years,” said Sara Tadlock. “He cares about the underdog as much as the advantaged. The program he has built isn’t just about titles, it’s about the personal progress of each individual. He is a truly remarkable human being!”
“I have known Conrad just since my boys got involved in wrestling. You don’t have to be around Conrad long to know that he loves wrestling and is dedicated
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to helping the young people in our community become better wrestlers,” said Doug Beazer. “What impresses me more is the fact that he seems far more concerned with these same young people becoming good people. It is not just winning or losing, he is there with them regardless of the result. He hurts with them and celebrates with them. He seems to be a good friend to them. The Beazer family really appreciates all that he has done for our boys.”
Having the extra support in child rearing is helpful to parents who may be struggling with their teenager or pre-teen, and Garner has been supportive of both parents and the kids.
“When I’ve been struggling with my teenage son during wrestling season, I have felt very comfortable reaching out for support. It is nice having that support when raising kids. It takes a village,” said Tadlock. “Conrad is gifted at seeing the whole picture. Not only is my child an athlete, but a person learning life lessons. He builds on their strengths and helps them overcome their weaknesses. They respect him and he treats them with respect.”
As the wrestling season closes, parents, students, and coaches will move into the next season with new faces, and new opportunities to learn and grow.