Bishop Foley wrestler qualifies for state finals

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published February 28, 2020

 Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior Luke Bishop qualified for the individual wrestling state finals. The finals are set to take place March 6-7 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior Luke Bishop qualified for the individual wrestling state finals. The finals are set to take place March 6-7 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Photo provided by Randell Bishop

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MADISON HEIGHTS — When Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior and Royal Oak resident Luke Bishop was a young boy, his grandfather made him an offer: If he wrestled and played football in seventh and eighth grade, he would take him to Hawaii.

Bishop did both and earned his trip.

Little did Bishop know at that time, he would also earn a trip to the individual wrestling state finals.

Bishop advanced in the 285-pound weight class in Division 3. Only the top four finishers in each weight class at their respective regionals advance to the state finals.

The state finals take place March 6-7 at Ford Field in Detroit.

“It’s special,” Bishop said. “It’s amazing how far I’ve come since seventh grade when I started wrestling. … It’s been a dream since I started wrestling in seventh grade to go to the show and be a part of the big dogs.”

In order to advance to the state finals, Bishop had to get past what is called the “blood round,” which is when wrestlers have to win in order to avoid having their respective seasons come to an end.

Foley coach Berney Gonzales reflected on Bishop’s pivotal match.

“Luke had a real tough kid (who) took fourth in the state last year in heavyweight,” Gonzales said. “The big guy had it when he needed to have it. … He listened to us coaches very well, and he came out on top.”

Bishop’s triumphant moments could just as easily never have happened.

“Back in seventh and eighth grade, I used to wrestle this kid at club practice, and he would pick me up and kind of just slam me; he was so much bigger than me,” Bishop said. “That right there made me want to quit. I didn’t; I stuck through it. And then in between my sophomore and junior year, I went to this 14-day wrestling camp. It was the hardest thing I’ve personally ever done in my life. … It was super intense; it was super hard on me. And it just kind of flipped that switch to where I am today with my mentality of this sport and with life.”

Given the impact that wrestling has had on his life, Bishop can now fondly reflect on deciding to stick it out.

“Wrestling’s a sport that sets goals for your life,” Bishop said. “Becoming a state qualifier is showing you, ‘Hey, you’ve done this. Now you can go on in actual life and accomplish whatever you want.’ … When I was younger, I barely had any confidence. It was hard to kind of make friends. But when I started wrestling, it really boosted my confidence.”

The journey Bishop has been on isn’t one he has traveled alone. He acknowledged support he has received from family, friends and coaches.

And as far as that offer his grandfather made to him when he was a young boy, at this point in his life, it means something different than it did when it was originally made.

“It was worth it, but not even going to Hawaii made it worth it,” Bishop said. “It was what it set me up for in my life. I didn’t realize what it was setting me up for in seventh and eighth grade. I stuck through it so I could go to Hawaii. Then over time, I fell in love with the sport, and how much I can accomplish from it, and how much I have accomplished from it.”

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