Wevleys play their part within MAHACA wrestling program
When Morris Area senior Gage Wevley joined wrestling as a kindergartner so did his then four-year-old sister Morgan as a tag-along fan and huge supporter of her older brother.
“I always went to watch him in tournaments and tagged along to practices, too,” Morgan said.
Although Morgan never wrestled in competition, she does remember being her brother’s partner during practice sessions on their living room floor.
“During the elementary years, my dad used me as Gage’s wrestling partner to show him moves,” Morgan said. “I didn’t mind, it was a normal thing in our house to have wrestling matches on the living room floor.”
Fast-forward to over a decade later and Morgan serves as the manager of the Morris Area / Hancock / Chokio-Alberta Tiger wrestling program, and her love for wrestling has grown and so has her support for her brother Gage, who wrestles at 220-pounds for the Tigers.
“It’s an addicting sport,” Morgan said. “Six minutes can feel like forever and five seconds can mean the difference between winning and losing.”
Wrestling is a family tradition for the Wevleys. Gage’s father Kevin wrestled at Morris. His uncles and cousins also wrestled. And now his second cousins wrestle. It adds up to some fun family get togethers, Gage said.
“It’s a given that there is going to be wrestling on the floor at some point during the day,” Gage said of family gatherings.
Wrestling requires family involvement, Morgan said.
“It’s a sport like no other,” Morgan said. “It takes support and commitment from the entire family, especially when it comes to eating certain foods in front of Gage… He can be a growly bear if he can’t eat.”
Morgan expanded her role as a tagalong sister to an official role as manager of the MAHACA team as eighth-grader.
“The manager at the time needed help so I jumped in and have been doing it ever since,” Morgan said.
Morgan enjoys the benefit of being close to the mat.
“Sometimes too close,” Morgan said, adding that “being able to keep stats for my brother is a just bonus.”
Although Morgan is the team manager and keeps stats during the matches, she does get the chance to be a fan as well. When Gage is wrestling, Morgan is right on the corner of the wrestling mat, jumping, screaming, yelling, cheering, and sometimes even pacing back-and-forth if things aren’t going as well as she had hoped in the match.
“I get into the matches,” Morgan said.
“She’s fierce at times, but loyal,” Gage said of Morgan’s mat-side manner. “It’s nice to have that positive vibe from her when I’m trailing behind. It’s nice to have someone to yell at to go get me water, too!”
Gage appreciates his sisters “fierceness,” but there are times when he asks for a slight adjustment to her support.
“Our relationship has gotten better for the most part. He does get mad at me sometimes and isn’t afraid to tell me to be quiet… that doesn’t mean I listen to him,” Morgan said.
“I know [his potential] and I just want to encourage and support that,” Morgan added. “I’m happy for him when he makes a goal and reaches it. Win or lose, I love him… but I do get frustrated on some of those close matches… I’m kind of protective of him and that annoys him, but deep down I think he appreciates my loyalty.”
“The only difference now is that she sometimes thinks she knows more than I do,” Gage said.
Their parents provided them with advice early on in their lives since the siblings are just a year apart in age and the only children in the family.
“Mom and dad always told us that all we have is each other so we better learn to figure things out and work out our differences,” Morgan said.
The siblings said they are committed to the idea of mutual support.
“I’m his sister, cheerleader and biggest fan, I’ll always be in his corner,” Morgan said of her older brother Gage. “We have each others’ back.”
“We can count on one another with anything that comes our way, I guess that’s a pretty cool thing,” Gage added.
One thing they both can count on is that Morgan will be, where she has been the past three-plus years, in the corner of the MAHACA bench screaming for her brother, Gage, and the rest of the MAHACA Tiger wrestlers on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the annual Doc Busian Invitational in Morris.