Grant Fehlhafer may only be a high school freshman, but he’s his team’s only undefeated wrestler. Fehlhafer has Down syndrome, and serves as the student manager for Seward High School’s (Nebraska) wrestling team. He practices with the guys, but during their matches, he handles the thankless job of making sure everyone has everything they need.

In mid-February, Austin Middleton, a senior at Ralston High, looked over at the other team and noticed that Fehlhafer was dying to compete. So, even though Middleton had just lost his match, he approached Fehlhafer, and asked if he wanted to hit the mat.

Of course, Fehlhafer was on board, so the two students talked a referee into officiating the match. Following a handshake, they grappled and Fehlhafer emerged victorious within 30 seconds of beginning. The crowd went wild and Fehlhafer jumped into the arms of his overjoyed teammates.

Fehlhafer’s mother, Caroline Schwehr Fehlhafer, posted about the experience on Facebook.

“Today at district wrestling a young man, Austin Middleton, Ralston, [showed] true character. He had just lost his match and his chances of going to state. Instead of focusing on himself, He saw a boy walking around in his singlet,” she wrote. “He took initiative and asked the Seward coach if Grant wanted to wrestle. They got a referee and Grant got to wrestling in his first match. Wrestling is usually judged by it wins and losses today it about character. We are thankful for the Seward wrestling team and the Ralston wrestling team.”

According to, about a week after the thrilling match, Seward High School presented Middleton with a Pride award, which is an award given to students and staff “aimed at recognizing preparation, respect, integrity, dedication and effort.”

“We cannot thank Austin enough for this kind gesture and hope that others will think of this act of integrity the next time they are presented with the opportunity to put the feelings of others ahead of their own,” Jill Johnson, Seward’s vice principal, wrote in a letter accompanying the award.

Great win, Grant Fehlhafer. You too, Austin Middleton.