Mike Wojcik, a three-year team member and West Virginia graduate last December, won't be at the free wrestling clinic to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the West Virginia wrestling facility, behind the Coliseum.
But he will present in lots of thoughts.
Wojcik, 24, was critically injured in an ATV accident in eastern Pennsylvania Aug. 10. Without insurance and barely three weeks from starting a new job, Wojcik and his family suddenly found themselves facing some mounting and excessive medical bills, not to mention a taxing rehabilitation. It's the reason why youth wrestlers are invited to Saturday's clinic with the current Mountaineers wrestling team and assistant coach Greg Jones, an All-American at West Virginia, among the counselors. The clinic is in Wojcik's honor, with participants invited to make donations toward the ex-Mountaineer's comeback.
He is in the brain trauma unit of a neurologic rehabilitation institute in his native New Jersey. He is unresponsive and recently suffered a stroke. Though able to move his arms and legs to some degree, he is unable to do so much, everyday things often taken for granted. It figures to be an arduous recovery.
It's difficult to see a once-vital wrestler, to see any person, at such a crossroads, fellow former WVU student and friend Carly Mento wrote to the Mountaineers team, "but everything he is doing now is a positive sign. I have faith that he will come back to us shortly."
She was in his hometown of Old Bridge, N.J., for a charity walk in September, about one week after Wojcik was supposed to start the rest of his life: as a teacher, phys-ed and health, at Carl Sandburg Middle School -- his old school. A T.G.I Friday's restaurant also held a fund-raiser that generated almost $14,000. A local hair salon will cut hair on Oct. 26 with proceeds going to the Wojciks. Next comes Saturday's clinic.