Norton High School’s Deven Schuko is undefeated in his varsity wrestling career, but he took a worthy loss against one opponent.
The Massachusetts senior is one of the state’s best wrestlers, but he’ll be in this season’s tournament with a defeat after picking one up at the JV level Saturday. The opponent? Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High’s Andy Howland, who has Down syndrome.
“We locked up, and he was a tough kid, and he just snapped me down and put in a front headlock and bulldogged me over to my back,” Schuko told WBZ-TV. “I just couldn’t stop the power.”
Schuko was 27-0 this season going into Saturday’s meet, but losing to Howland wasn’t even a question for him. He won his varsity match and offered to take on Howland himself.
“When you get a story like this, and a fine young man like Deven can step up and wrestle our Andy Howland, you know he’s in for a tussle,” Dighton-Rehoboth athletic director Doug Kelley told WCVB-TV.
Schuko also happens to be one of Norton’s co-captains and is known for his terrific sportsmanship.
“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,” Norton coach Pat Coleman said.
And even though Schuko’s record no longer is perfect, he still looks at it as a win.
“If I had to lose to someone, I’d like to lose to Andy,” Schuko told WCVB-TV. “It was a win-win in my book. He won, I won.”