Lord of the “Ring”
by Cate Murway
Happy are those who dream dreams and enthusiastically pay the price to make their dreams come true." Anon.
Wrestling is an ancient physical combat sport in which two opponents attempt to control the other through grappling techniques without the use of striking. Some evidence suggests that it may be the oldest sport known to man. One of the most famous wresting matches appears in the book of Genesis where Jacob wrestles an angel and is renamed Israel for his struggle, which translates to "Wrestles (or struggles) with God".
Bristol High School’s biggest bright spot, 112-pounder Terence Francis McGovern, Jr. is determined to make sure it is also the most heard about sport. He claimed that class' [112#] championship at the Annual New Hope-Solebury tournament in early December. Terry was named in the BIG 14 [weight categories] Wrestling Records in the Courier Times [1.3.07], listed by winning (minimum of seven matches, .720 percentage), with an overall 11-1 record.
Terry is convinced that wrestling may be the most demanding athletic sport physically and mentally. It combines a need for incredible strength, speed, conditioning and the memorizing of dozens of offensive and defensive moves. He typically trains year-round. His flexibility and quickness, combined with his uncommon mental toughness, brings him victory over equally powerful opponents. Volunteer BHS Coach and Terry’s mentor, Scott Porter, Morrisville H.S.’81 said, “I wish every kid I worked with were like Terry. He knows what it takes to be a winner in the sport and is willing to do whatever it takes to be a success!” Scott feels that Terry’s “hard work and determination tools give him a clear shot at being a state qualifier”.
Terry’s college dream goal is to major in Chemistry/Physiology at UNC, the first state University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, chartered in 1789, the year that George Washington became president. Since the mid-1990s, the North Carolina TarHeels wrestling program has set the bar for the rest of the ACC [Atlantic Coast Conference]. One version of the nickname's origin has the name first being applied to North Carolinians who did not retreat during the Civil War. “They put it [tar] on their heels to make them stick better in the next fight." Terry has vowed to stick better! His stamina and sight has always been keen. As a Boy Scout, with his mom as Den Mother [a position BSA added in 1936] and Leader, the first [and most fun] badge Terry earned was the Archery Merit Badge, created in 1911, one of the original 57 official merit badges.
His U.S. Navy veteran dad, interior communications electrician Terence Francis, Sr., Bishop Egan ‘81 and his Mary Kay consultant mom, Deborah Anne [Salomon], Bishop Conwell ’79 have educated Terry and his 2 brothers, Colin Michael BHS ’10 and Brendan Russell in the Borough schools. Terry has played “Croydon Yellowjackets” football and participated in CYO basketball but he never “wrestles” with a choice for his favorite sport. Captain Terry McGovern, B.A.L. champ in 9 th and 10th grade who has earned a 2nd team Golden Team position, will leave an indelible impression on the wrestling world. He motivates his team with vigorous and motivating workouts, leading by example. “I do everything I ask the team to do – Twice!” He emulates All-American 1997 NCAA Division I Wrestling Champion Chuckie Connor, Pennsbury H.S./ UNC who won the ACC title at 118 lbs. as a freshman.
Currently ranked 2nd in his Class, Science and Math are his strengths. His dad challenged him when he said “You’ll never get anywhere with wrestling.” With combined academic and athletic effort, he can now boast “brains and brawn”. Other than scholastics, his hours are packed with running, lifting and wrestling. A common thread underlies both agents and success breeds success. This is the first time in 6 years that BHS is able to provide a full team- all weight classes are represented.
Terry’s favorite book is the allegorical novel “Siddhartha”, which means "he who has attained his goals" or "he who is victorious" by Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha sets out in the search of enlightenment and goes through a series of changes and realizations as he attempts to achieve this enlightenment. Per his own admission, Terry agrees that he has done a 180 degree turn in terms of his work ethic and motivation for college. Other college choices are Lehigh University, Bethlehem and Rider University, Lawrenceville, N.J. Perhaps he will attend M.I.T. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], Cambridge to prosper in an environment of science and technology. Perchance this is his new challenge because once again, his dad questions.
Catch up with him to see how the dream is progressing. Bring a bottle of water, preferably with a sling for your shoulder when you need to pick up your pace; feel free to slow down any time you might feel dizzy, light headed or exhausted. Terry is a young man with a vision. He refuses to let anyone “pin” him down!
To recommend a Bristol borough youth to be spotlighted: