Ilion native and Central Valley Academy wrestler Marek Bush may not have won his second Division II State Championship on Saturday, but he definitely came out a winner.

This isn't about sports. It's about sportsmanship. Something we can easily take for granted in these days of instant online gratification and trash-talking memes.

Last Saturday(1/5/19) The Village of Ilion and Central Valley Academy held the annual Leo J. Sammon wrestling tournament, where CVA's wrestling team is the 5-time defending champs.

It was during the finals of the tournament, in a match between CVA's Marek Bush and Indian River's Logan Patterson that Patterson, who was leading with a commanding 7-0 lead suffered a dislocated elbow.

As painful as that sounds, the match was allowed to continue because he dislocated the elbow on a legal move. Everyone expected Bush to take over and complete the comeback win for his second straight Divisioin II title at 126 lbs.

But that's not what happened.

With the final 30 seconds of the match ticking away, this amazing young man - Marek Bush - just laid on the mat on his belly and allowed Patterson to finish off the win he earned.

Cue standing ovation for both young men, and a memory that will be talked about in local high school wrestling circles for a long time.

Marek Bush's Father Bob Bush is CVA's coach, and has been since before I attended high school at the former Ilion High.

Mr. Bush (as I've only ever called him) has always been a class act as a coach and teacher.

When I tried out for the wrestling team as a very inexperienced sophomore, he was right there to help, even though he probably knew I wasn't cut out for the sport.

Now it's beautiful to see him pass along that genuine class to his kids.

And as for his son Marek Bush, titles and championships come and go but sportsmanship and acts of compassion like this are remembered forever.

Today I'm proud to be from the same town and same school (albeit under a different name) as Bob and Marek Bush.

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