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Spotlight Falls On S.D. Teen During Wrestling Match

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota high school wrestler had his moment in the spotlight cut short when the lighting fixture crashed down on him during a match.

Michael McComish, a Madison High School senior, received stitches after the accident that happened about 50 seconds into his match with an opponent from Chamberlain High School.

Madison High School athletic director Bud Postma said it was a scary moment for everyone gathered in the Madison Middle School gym, where the tournament took place.

“We are thankful to report that the student/athlete injured is recovering and is in school today,” Postma said Monday in a statement.

One of the trademarks of the triangular tournament nicknamed “Madison Square Garden” is an overhead light fixture that spotlights the featured match. The fixture is about the size of a large truck tire.

A video posted on YouTube shows the wrestlers had been sparring for just under a minute when McComish got into the referee’s position with his hands and knees on the middle of the mat. Just before the Chamberlain wrestler prepared to take the top position, the circular light fixture crashed down on McComish.

The referee and the Chamberlain wrestler quickly lifted the fixture, allowing McComish to walk over to the side for medical attention.

A telephone listing for McComish could not be found, and an attempt by The Associated Press to reach the student through the social media site Twitter was unsuccessful.

McComish told The Daily Leader of Madison on Monday afternoon that he had 15 to 20 stitches on his forehead and the back of his head. He said the rope on the lighting fixture broke and he heard the chains rattle, then thought, “What the heck happened?”

His mother, Heather Bergheim, said her son has been a devoted wrestler since sixth grade and had to miss wrestling at the Kingsbury Tournament on Saturday. But she said he was there supporting the Bulldogs.

“We are very thankful it was not more serious,” she told the newspaper. “We are hoping for the best and taking it just one day at a time.”

Madison won its Friday night matches against both Harrisburg and Chamberlain.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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