Last Saturday 23 year old Cole McAdam of Faribault was found deceased in his hotel room in Rochester, Mn. while he was in town coaching the Little Green Machine K-6 wrestling team.  I was told the other coaches asked the team if they wanted to go home or stay and wrestle in honor of Cole.  The little guys said they wanted to stay because that's what "Cole would want."

They evidently knew their coach well.  Often times a team takes on the personality of their coach.  If it's true with these guys they will continue to be fun to watch.  I did not know Cole very well but the few conversations I had with him and watching him play in football and wrestle did leave a lasting impression on me. I went to his visitation tonight and came home and wrote this poem entitled, Cole Always Had A Smile.

I never hunted or fished, never had a few beers or a lot of contact with him

But my heart sank along with many after hearing of the passing of Cole McAdam

He passed away suddenly Saturday at the age of 23

So much more of this life his friends and loved ones hoped he would see

The doctors did an autopsy which is typical following the death of someone so young

And even they may never be able to determine why his life among us is done

I went to Boldt Funeral Home for the visitation last night

Their parking lots were full so many of us parked on the street for easier flight

The line was long and I attended toward the end of the event

So many pictures, yes Cole packed a lot of life in those 8,416 days with us he spent

I remember visiting with him at Bashers when he was a captain on the Falcon football team in 2013

I'm sure Jerry Kes welcomed him into heaven which is pretty keen

Cole was an excellent wrestler, All-Conference his junior and senior seasons and team MVP

Those plaques and honors were on display for all of us to see

He was an excellent student, graduated with honors before heading off to a couple different schools

Before a fall down some stairs nearly three years ago left his family with tears flowing in pools

Cole suffered a traumatic brain injury and the doctors didn't know if he would come out alive

But he was a battler in all he did and that's probably why he did survive

That's what I enjoyed most about watching Cole on the gridiron or wrestling mat

His competitive spirit shone through, he always worked hard and never appeared to perform flat

This past weekend he was coaching the little green machine wrestlers at a tournament  in the med city

After the first evening of competition he went to his hotel room and Saturday was found deceased, it's more than just a pity

Those little guys he coached were asked if they wanted to go home or stay and wrestle for Cole

To a little man they said they would stay and wrestle because that's what their coach would want , competition is good for the soul

They won their pool at the tournament and because of the tragedy they wrestled through, received a sportsmanship award

I can see Cole smiling in heaven when those little guys grabbed the trophy and stepped forward.

While he is no longer physically among us a bit of Cole's competitive spirit is in each of those little guys

When they compete the rest of their lives the same fire will burn in their eyes

They will forever remember their coach and the lessons he taught

That's why I believe memory is one of God's most precious gifts and although I am like many of you distraught

I will always remember the terrific smile Cole would flash on his face

Whether working at the Godfather's Pizza trailer, at the fair, UPS or anyplace

You see even though I didn't know Cole McAdam well I'm thankful God let me interact even in brief ways

Because his smile is etched on my memory banks all the rest of my days

He taught this old guy indirectly I suppose to smile more, have fun, you can still be intense

Cole I hope to see you when I am welcomed across the pearly fence

Cole or Julio's Wrestling Table at Cole McAdams Visitation. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Cole McAdams Football Table at Boldt Funeral Home Visitation. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld