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Shore Grapplers Rally For Toms River Wrestler, 8, With Leukemia

Local wrestling club raises $1,200 for sick Toms River child

The Shore Wrestling club is not concerned about victories right now; the youth wrestlers and their coach are concerned about one of their own who is going through a terrible experience.

Micahel Rankin, 8, of Toms River, was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and now coach Chris Labrecque and his team are rallying to support Rankin.

Shore Wrestling Club is comprised of grapplers ages 8-12 from West Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport and Sea Bright.

Labrecque said he recently visited Rankin at Monmouth Medical Center and said he immediately started organizing a relief effort the boy.

"When one of us goes down, we all go down,"  Labrecque said. "But none of us are going down today, we are fighting."

During a match held at Shore Regional on Saturday morning, Labrecque's squad took on Rankin's team, Toms River 1, and decided to wear t-shirts supporting him.

The team also raised $1,200 for Rankin and created a sign that was signed by all the wrestlers and a plaque that will both be given to him in the hospital.

Labrecque addressed the crowd on Saturday and thanked everybody for their support. He also told his wrestlers that their selfless attitude over the last few days is something that they should emulate as they get older.

"Remember the lessons you learn on the mat, because you will use them for the rest of your life," Labrecque said.

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