HOLMEN, Wis. – Once again, Holmen’s wrestling team is top ten in the state.
“We are recognized now as a good program and we have a solid team, head coach Jason Lulloff said. “We have a lot of really talented people. We have really, really talented people sitting on our bench.”
Down two of its top wrestlers to injury, the team is no stranger to dealing with tough situations.
Senior Ben Fiers was injured in a single car accident on Christmas Eve, 2011. Fiers suffered a head injury after losing control of his car and hitting a tree on County Road ZB.
“I actually don't remember anything,” Ben said.
“I remember every single detail,” said Ben’s mom, Annie. “The first thing they said to me was they were trying to resuscitate Ben. And then we knew it was really bad.”
Ben suffered a traumatic head injury and was put into an induced coma.
They told us, when he was in ICU, that it was such a bad injury, that he probably wasn't going to wake up,” Annie said.
“I knew. I didn't know to what extent, but I knew at some point, he was going to wake up and he was going to be with us,” said Ben’s dad, Troy.
Slowly, Ben woke up and began rehab. He had to learn how to walk and talk again.
“People tell me I wouldn't make it,” Ben said. “This doctor said I will never wrestle again, and my mindset, the whole time, to everybody, is screw it, I'm gonna do it.”
“And he had a positive attitude,” Annie said.
“Incredibly positive,” Troy said.
“People told me I might not be able to walk again,” Ben said. “Look at me now. I'm walking!”
Ben will have surgery Friday, meaning he won't fulfill his goal of wrestling this season. But he's with the team and at practice whenever he can be.
“The team looks at him, what he's gone through, and it motivates us. Yeah, we get injured, but what he went through, we go wow,” said junior Ryan Stalsberg.
“Nothing that happens this year compares to what happened last year with Ben,” Lulloff said. “Now, if an injury happens, it's not life or death. It doesn't seem as bad.”