EAST BEND — Austin Macemore’s legacy continues to live on nearly a year after his untimely death.
Starmount and Forbush high schools teamed up Saturday morning for the First Big A Memorial Wrestling Tournament in honor of the fallen Starmount graduate.
“It’s great to keep his memory alive,” Starmount head wrestling coach David Oliver said. “That’s one of the things that both his mom and dad have said to me. When he passed away in January, I remember his mom looking at me and said ‘I don’t want people to forget Austin.’ I told her ‘People won’t forget him.’
“That just won’t happen,” he continued. “When you do things like this in a memorial, it’s good for people to remember, whether it’s once a year or whatever, about what a kid stood for. It means a lot.”
Starmount and Forbush were joined by seven other wrestling teams from around the region Saturday for the tournament: Surry Central, North Surry, Chatham Central, West Forsyth, Atkins and Forsyth Country Day School.
“It’s a great turnout,” Oliver added. “We got it together about three months ago before the season started. We ended up getting nine teams for this year, and we have even more wanting to come in next year.
“I’m glad we got it started. We’re co-hosting the tournament with Forbush. Austin went to church on this end of the county, so he was known county-wide anyway. The county and the community continue to come together.”
The two Yadkin County schools plan to alternate the site of the tournament each season.
Before this year’s Big A Memorial Tournament got under way Saturday morning, Austin’s father, Wayne, spoke to all of the wrestlers, telling his son’s life story. He also handed out 100 “Team Austin” bracelets.
“They all get to see that there are some things that are a little bit more important than wrestling,” Oliver said. “It’s not just about the sport but how you handle yourself in life.
“People will never forget Austin.”