Photo Flashback: Capturing a big smile at the state individual wrestling tournament
The high school state finals in individual wrestling were the scene.
Featured among many bouts that I photographed in Champaign that Friday, Feb. 21 were fist pumps, leg sweeps, pins ...d one huge smile.
Austin Korba from Hersey High School offered a seconds-long grin and then folded his hands to the sky upon besting his opponent. I published images of both moments in a gallery that evening.
Having seen the images, Austin's mom sent an appreciative email that night.
She explained how Austin first took up wrestling in his sophomore year and persevered through many early defeats before ultimately advancing to the state finals this season.
"Maybe he was smiling at his parents ... maybe it was directed towards his coaches. But whomever it was directed at, it didn't matter ... it was a great moment that I will remember forever," Sudi Bjornstad Korba wrote.
I was thrilled to make a nice picture. I was honored to receive such a kind note.