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One tough Motter

Hayley Koontz, 11

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El Dorado senior wrestler Dacota Motter pins his opponent during the 170 pound championship match of the 4A state tournament in Salina. Motter points his fingers up to the sky, acknowledges the crowd, takes off his headgear, and embraces his opponent. He hurries off the mat and jumps into the arms of his wrestling coach, Wesley Reynolds. The two stay there, experiencing the moment Motter has been waiting for four years for. Unfortunately, Motter lost his father to cancer just days before the tournament.

Motter tweeted, “I did it dad!!! I know you were watching up there. You taught me everything I know and I know I couldn’t have done it without you! I’ll always love you.”

Reynolds and other members of the El Dorado community wore maroon shirts with a ribbon and the words “One Tough Motter…” written across the front in support of Motter and his family.

In an interview with KWCH, Reynolds said, “It’s a lot of closure. He’s been working for so long, so hard to achieve this one goal that him and his dad have chased for so long.”

Pictures show El Dorado’s viewing section of the gymnasium completely filled with spectators who came to support Motter and other El Dorado wrestlers.

“El Dorado’s the best crowd I could ever ask for. When you’re in need they’ll do anything for you. It’s the best town you could ever ask for,” Motter said in an interview with KWCH.

Circle student Tori Young, 11, watched Motter’s championship match.

“It was really nerve wracking, it was intense, it was sad, it was happy. I don’t think there’s a way to describe the emotion. It was a blessing. That’s not something every kid would do, so I think that’s why it meant a lot to other people,” Young said.

Thousands of people have heard and shared Motter’s story on social media. Many offered their condolences for Motter and his family, as well as congratulations on his state title.

As KWCH reporter Gardner Royce closed a story on Motter, he said, “I think the entire state was rooting for Dacota, and it’s a moment that no one who saw it will ever forget.”

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One tough Motter