Grandpa Wrestles in College, Becomes All-American Co-Captain and Makes the Dean's List

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By Daniel Distant , Christian Post Reporter
March 6, 2014|10:14 am

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Rick Chapman, a 44-year-old grandpa, wrestled in the NCAA Division III Northeast regional tournament for the University of Southern Maine in early March 2014.

A grandpa wrestling in college managed to become co-captain of the wrestling team while maintaining a great GPA. 44-year-old Rick Chapman of Maine is studying to be a lawyer after a career as a paramedic and firefighter, but his extracurricular activity is kicking the butts of men half his age.

Last weekend Champman's dream came true: he wrestled in the NCAA Division III Northeast regional tournament for the University of Southern Maine. Even though he had a fractured rib, he fought through his one and only match but couldn't secure the victory. His season ended 32-46 without any wins in the post-season.

Being a grandpa wrestling in college wasn't Chapman's intention— he had made it into college years ago after nearly winning the state wrestling championship in high school twice. However, he had to drop out of school his freshman year when his fiancée became pregnant with his child.

Four years ago, Rick decided to enroll in the University of Southern Maine alongside his now grown son, who thought it was a dumb idea, according to Fox Sports. Chapman decided to take on a full course load, work full time as a firefighter 42 hours a week and take an all-day shift as a paramedic one day a week.

To prepare to be on the wrestling team— NCAA eligibility rules allowed him back to the sport he loved so much— Chapman got a personal trainer and lost 35 pounds. While exercising his body and mind, the 44-year-old grandpa managed to excel as well: he made the Dean's list every semester and became a scholar All-American wrestler.

Chapman graduates this spring. He plans to attend law school after his graduation.


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