Edson: The Lessons We Can Learn From a Strong Storm

As a wrestler and as a person, he’s taking the Grand Traverse region by Storm.

That’s because Storm Dulac can teach all of us lessons about persistence and personality.

The Traverse City St. Francis senior struggled to win a handful of matches his freshman and sophomore seasons. But through hard work and an optimistic attitude he has become one of the favorites to win an individual conference title at heavyweight when the Gladiators host the league meet Feb. 3.

“My first two years were hard. I probably won a total of five matches total,” he said. “But I never gave up. I just kept working and learning and trying to get better.”

It’s a lesson we should all take to heart.

“He’s never down in the dumps, never makes excuses and he’s a great example of what hard work can do for you,” said St. Francis wrestling coach Mike Simaz, who was a state champion at 145 pounds in high school for Lake Michigan Catholic in St. Joseph and went on to letter in wrestling at Michigan State. “Plus, he’s a great teammate. He might not be the best athlete out there, but he has the biggest heart.”

Storm’s teammate Jack Beckwith agrees.

“I’m a freshman and Storm and I wrestle against each other a lot in practice,” he said. “He’s always helping me and encouraging me. I’ve never seen a frown on Storm’s face. He’s a great teammate.”

Storm – yes, that’s his given name – said his record started to turn around during his junior year, when he had a few more wins than losses.

“My attitude didn’t change,” he said. “I’ve always been an optimistic person. But once I started to put together the mental part of wrestling with the physical part, I started to get more wins.”

Storm credits Simaz, his father, his teammates and his friends. Everyone, of course, but himself.

“My folks are my biggest fans,” he said. “They are always there to support me. And Coach Simaz has taught me a lot.”

Storm was smart to listen because the Simaz family has a long history of wrestling success in Michigan. Mike’s nephews have combined to win eight state individual championships and one NCAA individual title with Cornell. And his youngest son Andy is a strong wrestler on this year’s Gladiator team.

“The hardest thing about wrestling can be cutting weight and the practices,” said the 18-year-old Storm, who also throws the discus and shot put on the track team. “It can be a grueling season, so you have to stay positive with yourself and supportive of your teammates.”

His caring side shows up again when he talks about life after graduation.

“I want to get into the nursing program at NMC,” he said. “My goal is to become a nurse at Munson.”

His credentials – persistence, personality and a caring touch – seem to be the perfect fit.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

Categories: Wrestling