LANSING, Mich. — Last year the Holt community lost a legendary coach, Rocky Shaft. A scholarship was created in his honor after his death.
The Holt Wrestling Club raised money for the scholarship by selling T-shirts with his famous saying, “The fun is in the memory.”
“He was a great component of our community and also our wrestling program. He was the heart and soul and he loved every one of you guys,” his daughter Heather Shaft said at the Holt wrestling banquet.
Before passing at the age of 65, Shaft coached at Holt High School for 47 years. He was dedicated to the sport, but most of all to his students.
“His legacy just means everything that the Holt community is as a whole. He was always for the kids and just above all else creating better men and women. Rather than just create the best wrestler, he wanted us to be the best we could possibly be going into the real world,” said Nathan Bremer, a graduating senior at Holt High School.
Bremer plays football and lacrosse and was a wrestler on Coach Shaft’s team. He was excited to be one of the first recipients of a scholarship in his former coach’s honor.
Halim Tran was the second scholarship recipient. She was on the swim and tennis team and also wrestled with Shaft.
“It means the world to me, the fact that he helped me grow as a person and the fact that he’s helping me continue my education even though he’s not here. It’s the best thing that could have happened,” Tran said.
She plans to go to Lansing Community College to become a firefighter.
Shaft’s wife, Elizabeth, attended the wrestling banquet and said she couldn’t be more proud of Tran and Bremer.
“I’m really proud of them. I’m glad that we could do it for them because like he would say, the fun is in the memory,” she said.
To be selected for the scholarship, students had to write an essay. The family said these are the first of many scholarships to come.
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