LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – Sally Seibert and Karen Wise are at Cedar Crest’s first wrestling meet of the year. It’s the first wrestling match either have attended in 17 years.
Their sons, Gregg Seibert and Michael Wise II wrestled for the Falcons in the early ’90’s. As most parents do once their children graduate high school, they stopped going to games. But in 2004, the memory of their children on the mat became more precious when both Michael and Gregg died within 6 months of each other.
“I just remember getting the call and falling to my knees,” says Sally after being told Gregg died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve, “(now) I have a hard time celebrating Christmas. For family and friends I get it together and I get it done, but I needed a way to honor him. Through that my therapist and I came up with a scholarship.”
The Gregg Seibert Wrestling Award goes to one Cedar Crest senior each year who values and loves the sport. Similarly, Cedar Crest also has the Micahel H. Wise II Foundation “Character Award’ for the wrestler with the best attitude and sportsmanship during the wrestling season.
Wise was working as an undercover police officer in Reading, when he was killed in the line of duty. Together, Karen and Sally have supported one another throughout the years, especially during the Holidays. A return to Cedar Crest’s gym, to see the wrestling team compete, was a bittersweet moment.
“It was a good feeling while the matches were going on,” says Sally, “but afterward I didn’t go home with that heavyweight.”
“It was great to be there and remember what he did,” adds Karen, “and how proud you are of these young kids. And I’m just proud to be a part of their team (through the award).”
Cedar Crest won its first match of the year that night. It’s just the team’s 5th win over the last 4 seasons.
You can support the Michael H. Wise II Foundation, or participate in its annual events by visiting their website: here.