For Dave and Vickie LaMotte, a trip late this week to Greenlee, Colo. will be the thrill of a lifetime. That's because the jaunt will afford the husband and wife their first opportunity to see their sons compete on the major college wrestling level.
Even more exciting for Dave LaMotte will be that sons Jeff and Matt will be competing in the NCAA Division II National Tournament for his alma mater, West Liberty State College of West Virginia.
The two LaMotte's qualified for the national match with top-four finishes at the NCAA East regional held last week in Virginia.
Jeff, a junior at West Liberty, earned a seed into the national tournament as the regional 165-pound runner-up.
Matt, a sophomore, advanced as the East's 157-pound fourth-place finisher.
Division II's best 16 wrestlers in each weight class will battle in Greenlee for national championships.
Although the LaMottes visited their sons during the Christmas holidays in West Virginia, they've never been able to attend a college match in which the two boys were entered.
"There were no matches (scheduled) when we were there," Dave said. "So, I just trained with them."
Local wrestling fans will remember Jeff as a 1999 graduate of Payson High School who won a state weight division crown his senior year and was later named an Arizona Coaches Association All-Star.
Matt, a two-time state wrestling champion at Gilbert High School, spent a stint in the armed forces before enrolling at West Liberty.
Both young men received an early introduction to the sport of wrestling from their father.
In addition to being a former high school and college standout in West Virginia, Dave is an accomplished wrestling coach who now is a member of the PHS staff.