Blaine Isham started wrestling in Vermont in 1969 and he went on to win the state championship in 1972 for St. Johnsbury. His son Chris followed his father's lead and became the state champion for Essex High School in 1992. Blaine and Chris were the first father/son pair to win the state championship. Chris' younger brother Ira was the first person to wrestle on the Warriors and Hornets teams who then went on to be the varsity coach of the Essex HS wrestling team. After a lifetime of coaching many athletes, including his own two sons, Blaine is currently Ira's assistant coach and Chris coaches the youth team at Essex. The three Ishams wanted to go big to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the state championships of the sport that has meant so much to their family. They reached out to former competitors from around the state and country and invited them to return to Essex High School for a weekend of wrestling. We talked to former champions and youth about what this sport has meant to them and the ongoing legacy of a family like the Ishams.
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