Another Personal Hero
I once wrote that I knew all my lifetime "heroes" personally. I can still say that. So, today I want to introduce to you a new addition to my heroes' list -- Aaron Joel "A.J." Monseau.
Although A.J. Monseau is much younger than yours truly, I have learned much from him over the years. Allow me to share his story with you.
To begin with, I have had the privilege of teaching all the Monseau children - Vinnie, Anissa, and finally A.J. They were outstanding students and are now productive adults that I know have made their parents (Vince and Kay) very proud. But being a younger brother myuself, I cannot but have a special place in my heart for A.J.
A.J. Monseau always followed in the footsteps of an older brother he loved and respected very much. And he had some big shoes to fill in wrestling, with a sibling who was an OVAC champion, two-time West virginia state champ, a Robert Dutton Award Winner, and a 3-time collegiate all-American.
A.J. could have chosen a less burdensome path as many youngter brothers have done in the past. But instead, he chose to set his sights on the same goals as his elder brother Vinnie.
A.J. Monseau did have one immense obstacle to surmount; he did not have the innate physical attributes that his brother possesses. He made up for it, however, in supreme natural desire, fortitude and determination.
A.J. Monseau's wrestling biography includes all-state and three-time OVAC placewinner. He then wrestled for his father at WLSC and was tri-captain of the "Hilltopper" wrestling team his senior year. A.J. culminated his wrestling career by gaining All-American status, placing 6th at the NCAA Division II National Championship last March.
Considering that A.J. was ranked 18th in his weight class at the beginning of last season, it was an outstanding individual accomplishment!
No one knows more about A.J. Monseau's "maximum effort" than his older brother Vinnie who once wrote on the subject. And there was no one more proud of A.J. on the night of March 15, 2003 than Vinnie.
A.J. Monseau's story does not end on the mats. He is also the essence of the true student-athlete. Like his brother, A.J. was also selected to the Academic All-American Wrestling Team. During his undergraduate years at WLSC, A.J. maintained a perfect 4.0 average, with a double major of biologty and chemistry. Wow!
A.J. Monseau is now attending West Virginia University, majoring in medicine. It's in the family blood. His brother Vinnie is an M.D., and his sister Anissa is an orthodontist. What a tribute to Dr. and Mrs. Vince Monseau, a couple who raised the bar of great parenting.
In closing, A.J. Monseau is the epitome of athletic and academic excellence. I personally take pride in having played a very small part in his life.
Aaron Joel "A.J." Monseau, you are a positive role model for others to follow -- and a "hero" in my eyes.