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Junior High Wrestler Allows Special Needs Opponent To Win

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WINTERSET, Iowa  -- It started off like any other wrestling match. Carson Rhoads from Winterset met Cael Lockhart of ADM Middle School at center mat.

A quick handshake and the match started; but that's where a normal match ends, and an incredible one begins.

Carson’s opponent has Down’s syndrome, something Carson's coach made him aware of.

“It pretty much lays on his shoulders, I really never told him to do what he did” said coach Ryan Breeding.

Carson decided to go easy, and let Cael take home the victory.

“Really it was just the right thing to do. There wasn’t really a question; it was more of like, something you were supposed to do” said Carson.

Cael's reaction to the victory was priceless.

“That was probably the best part because at the end he came up and hugged me and that made me feel really good” said Carson.

Coach Breeding says it was a proud moment, and athletics at its best.

“Whether you lose or win you come off the mat the same way, and for a kid like Cael, I mean, this gets him through another day and a little encouragement and I think that’s good” said Breeding.

“Sportsmanship; people usually think of it as just, ‘good game’ and all of that, but really it’s about showing the other team that nothing tears them apart because of the competition” said Carson.

As for Cael, he's no stranger to competition. He practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, competes in the special Olympics, and has even scored a touchdown for the ADM football team

For Carson, he believes that losing this match for his school, is truly a great victory.

“It’s an honor, and I would probably do it again if I could” he said.

At the end of their match, Carson was offered a standing ovation.

The video of his match has been viewed over 46,000 times.