The following was submitted to White Lake Patch by Lori Sokoll.
This past Saturday, individual regional tournaments were held across the state. Lakeland Coach Matt Bishop, traveled to Davison High School with his two senior captains, Kyle Babin and Brandon Calma, both who advanced from last weeks district competitions with third place finishes.
Face to face with the best grapplers they have seen this year, Calma and Babin put all they had on the mat for every match. After losing his first match to the number one seed, Calma came back to beat Walled Lake Northern's Andrew Hahnenburg and Jacob Corley from Grand Blanc to secure a third place finish and a trip to Palace for the State Tournament.
Babin, known as strong competitor and a respected wrestler came up a just short and failed to qualify to move on.
Now at the end of his third year as Lakeland's Varsity Wrestling coach, Bishop continues to put his heart and soul into this program. In his three years, he has not only had increased success on the mats, but has taught his squad important lessons that these boys will carry with them long after they are finished wrestling.
Probably more than any other sport, wrestling requires dedication, determination and the ability to control emotions. Bishop knows how to get the best out of every kid in his room, even if he has to approach every kid in a different way. Simply put, the wrestlers have the greatest respect for him and in turn they work hard and give him back all they can. It's not unusual to find recent graduates back in the wrestling room acting as mentors to the younger kids. They will tell you they are there because they want to continue to be a part of the program.
After making it out of regionals, Brandon Calma was asked what it means for him. "Qualifying for states has been a long and extraordinary journey," he said. "Teaching me a whole new world of wrestling, Matt Bishop made me the wrestler I am today. With the support of my family and my coach I never stopped trying. Being my best friend and wrestling partner since I started wrestling, Kyle Babin has helped me reach my goal of making states."