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Hundreds gathered to celebrate and remember coach Rocky Shaft

Memorial held for late wrestling coach, friend and icon
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ blared through the speakers of Holt’s high school gym, hundreds gathered to celebrate and remember a coach, a friend, and an icon, former Holt wrestling coach Rocky Shaft.

“That’s why we’re having it in the gym today, there are so many people here, and it’s an awesome tribute to him,” said Bill Kingsley, who wrestled for Shaft.

Some of those there say they’ve known him for years.

“Basically from the time you’re little and you get into wrestling, you knew who rocky was,” said Kingsley. “He always said ‘everything is in the memories,’ and you’re sitting there with the people that you wrestled with, the people before you and after you, he meant everything to everybody here. He was a better person than he was a wrestling coach, if that tells you anything.”

There were hundreds of memories for hundreds of friends, students, and athletes who treasured rocky shaft.

“The guy was rock solid, loved the community, loved the kids that he coached and the kids that he taught when he did teach,” said Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, who played football for Shaft at Holt.

Rocky was known to not only teach the ins and outs of wrestling, but also lifelong lessons off the wrestling mat.

“The things that he instilled in his kids, they’re instilling in their kids. And their kids are going to instill it in their kids,” said Wriggelsworth.

Rocky created a ripple effect that has, and will, spread through the Holt community and beyond.

“That’s the greatest compliment right? When you’ve had that big of an impact not only over the last 30-40 years, but for 30-40 years after 2021, you know you did something right for sure,” said Wriggelsworth.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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