Eddie Boyer isn’t a typical 12-year-old from small-town Delaware. The Rehoboth Beach-born and current Farmington resident has carved out a burgeoning wrestling career over the past seven years. He’s won tons of matches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania tournaments over those years and proved he still is the No. 1-ranked 115-pound wrestler (22-8) by running the table (six matches) at the Delaware junior state tournament on Feb. 26.
Boyer likes to compete; but as far as winning goes, he places friendship and people’s feelings higher than winning. That makes him more than a winner — a role model.
Three years ago, Boyer was wrestling in a tournament and doing quite well. He hadn’t lost a match and was winning the current match 10-1, but amidst the commotion from the stands, Boyer could only hear his opponent’s father verbally abuse his son to the brink of tears.
Boyer felt pity for his opponent and friend, so he threw the match. He’s not a quitter and he didn’t just throw in the towel. No, Boyer just can’t stand to see unhappiness or disappointment.
“He just couldn’t see himself winning and watching his father down him,” his mother, Debbie Boyer said. She tried to talk him out of it but he had his mind set.
“He would rather see that father and child happy. He’s always been very compassionate. He’s the kind of kid that would give you the coat off his back if you needed it.”
The following year, Boyer brought his friend back to reality with the fastest pin of the tournament, at 19 seconds.
Boyer’s wrestling career started coincidently, when his family became devout Christians. Boyer, along with his family know that the Bible teaches many lessons – some of which he applied literally and others just happened by way of faith.
As a young child, Boyer was diagnosed with a learning disorder that prevented him from comprehending written words. He could read the words — he just couldn’t comprehend them, so he had to have someone read him the state testing materials.
But wrestling negated his confusion. Miraculously, things start to come together for Boyer once he started wrestling and he was able to link chain wrestling with reading comprehension. It also didn’t hurt that he had family friend and former Cape Henlopen State Champion Michael Brittingham showing him the ropes.
“Wrestling made him learn to think quicker,” his mother said.
Boyer now knows five ways out for every move, compared to three moves three years ago, when he submitted a tournament match to his friend. Since then, he has also excelled in math and art, and has been on the honor roll every year since being diagnosed with the disorder six years ago.
He recently won a first-place award in Sussex County and second in the state of Delaware for a poster on grease-fire prevention.
His Christian background gave him the support needed to not only help him achieve in the classroom and on the mat but also in dealing with poor sportsmanship.
In only his second year wrestling, Boyer was beating his opponent in a match and was punched. Rather than retaliate, Boyer responded, ‘That isn’t a wrestling move,’ leaving the boy dumbfounded and disqualified.
“Boyer’s never lost his temper and always shakes hands,” his mother said.
His mother accompanies Boyer to every tournament and for the past six year stops for his choice of food as a reward for his performance — win or lose.
“We’ve done this for the past six years because he’s always a winner. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. The important thing is whether you learn from your mistakes,” his mother said.
With the pressure off and a celebratory meal guaranteed, there’s nothing to stop Boyer from a stellar performance in the upcoming Junior Olympics and regional tournament.