Mumme gets back on the mat
Some of the loudest cheers at the Mt. Pleasant wrestling meet on Thursday night were not for the biggest win or the fastest pin, but for one particular name.
When Dillyn Mumme was announced in the varsity lineup, the crowd demonstrated its support for the Mt. Pleasant senior who has battled acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and now has fought his way back to the mat.
“It felt really good (to be in a varsity match),” Mumme said. “It’s been four years, so it’s been a long time that I’ve been waiting. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but it still felt good to be back out there.”
Mumme was pinned with just one second left in the first period of the 132-pound match, an unfamiliar feeling for the Panther who went undefeated as a middle school wrestler.
“I’ve learned that not everything goes your way,” Mumme said. “But I’ve completed my goal of wrestling varsity.”
As an eighth grader, he expected to wrestle varsity as a freshman. Instead, there was an unexpected four-year wait for that first varsity match.
Mumme was diagnosed with ALL in the middle of his eighth-grade wrestling season.
“It (the ALL diagnosis) actually started with a pulled muscle at wrestling practice, which just wasn’t getting better,” Mumme said. “It’s been a life-changing journey. I went from being a healthy, athletic kid to not being able to run a mile. I’ve learned life lessons — I know that you can’t stop, you’ve got to fight for what you want.”
Mumme finished treatment in May of 2012 and started lifting weights in the summer, preparing for his wrestling season.
“I had to start training so I wouldn’t be so badly out of shape,” he said.
He started practicing with the team in November, but then he injured his wrist and was out once again. Just this past week, he got back into practice, won a wrestle-off, and found himself in the varsity lineup right in time for Parents’ Night.
“It was a great feeling to come back and be introduced,” Mumme said. “I think my parents (Corey and Tammy Mumme) enjoyed seeing me getting back into something I love.”
Coach Anthony Blint and Mumme’s teammates have also watched Mumme fight to get back on the mat.
“I think he has helped some of the other kids (on the team),” Blint said. “They know that wrestling is not that hard compared to some other things in life.”