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November 21, 2019

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A personal reflection on the life and legacy of Darren Scott

With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye I attended the ribbon cutting

By Monty Siekerman

With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony Sunday of the refurbished Darren Scott wrestling room at ONU's King Horn Center.

As longtime wrestling coach Ron Beaschler, said, "Darren's positive influence on people continues today."

Darren is the first person to win a national championship in university history.

He was the NCAA national wrestling champ in the 134 weight class in 1987. But, hard to believe, his continued influence on people is more of a testament to the man than his outstanding athletic ability and accomplishments.

You see, Darren, even with a superb physical body, came down with Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS) at an early age. He fought the incurable disease with humor and a positive attitude. The university community and local residents rallied around him.

In fact, many people traveled to Lima on a cold winter day to watch Darren, riding a scooter because he could no longer walk by then, carry the Olympic torch through a few blocks in downtown Lima.

The torch, which he held high and proud, was headed to the winter games in Salt Lake City. That was in 2002. By 2003 he was gone from us, but forever lives in our hearts.

Darren had a sense of humor that would brighten the day of anyone. His crazy antics were legend, too. Darren's "man cave" still stands next to the pond where he enjoyed fishing and reflecting on life. He loved everyone, all loved him in return.

He married well. Lynne was always there, supporting him, giving comfort and encouragement, laughing at his antics, helping him physically. She was with him at home when he passed.

Today she can claim to be an author of several books, kennel owner, Zumba instructor (aqua Zumba, too), and longtime Bible study leader.

Plus, she mows a lot of grass, gardens, and keeps house at the farmstead where they once lived together southwest of Ada. She feeds, pets, frolics with two dogs and four cats.  Did I mention she is an excellent cook?

Several hundred people attended Sunday's event: the ribbon cutting in the refurbished wrestling room followed by an intra squad competition. There were members of the athletic staff, wrestling alumni, and parents of the wrestlers on hand for the ceremony and to watch some wrestling.

The Darren Scott wrestling room may have the same four walls, but that's all. There are new mats, paint, electric, fans, lights, banners...a top notch facility for today's wrestlers. Darren would be proud of the facility...and humbled by the honor.