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How a Local Wrestling Match Turned Into a Police Investigation

Michael Dwyer

A youth wrestling match in Illinois is now the subject of a police investigation after a sore loser wrestler sucker punched his opponent. After the bout, the wrestler who lost decided to throw a punch against his opponent, knocking the kid out. The parents of Cooper Corder, the assaulted wrestler, were rightfully livid before coaches and staff intervened to calm the situation. The wrestler who threw the punch was Hafid Alicea, who lost the match 14-2, which explains the frustration, but that’s no excuse. Both sides are reportedly cooperating with police (via Fox News):


Police have launched an investigation into an Illinois youth wrestling match that got ugly after a wrestler suckerpunched his opponent after losing. 

During the "Beat The Streets" tournament on April 8 at Oak Park River Forest High School in Oak Park, Ill., Hafid Alicea of Maine West High School was defeated by Cooper Corder of SPAR Wrestling Academy. The final match score was 14-2. 

As is custom in wrestling, the referee invited the two wrestlers to the center of the mat to shake hands and announce Corder as the winner. 

However, things took a turn when Alicea went to shake Corder’s hand, but instead punched him square in the face, sending him down to the canvas. 


Corder reportedly suffered a broken nose from the punch, per TMZ Sports, and will not have to wear a special face mask in upcoming events. 


A spokesperson for the Oak Park Police Dept. told TMZ Sports on Tuesday that parents of the two minors are cooperating with the investigation.  


Professional athletes have games or matches where they’ve poorly performed, and heavily favored teams have gone on to blow it in the playoffs. We’ve seen it time and again. And yes, there have been times when melees have broken out—it used to happen more in hockey. But fisticuffs is part of the sport, at least it used to be.

If Alicea wants to do UFC, then that’s different, but you’re in youth league, man. This punch was an assault, and depending on what happens could have consequences, especially if criminal charges are filed. One must hope that probation, counseling, and maybe getting kicked off the wrestling team will satisfy all involved. 

You lost a match, kid. It’s not the end of the world. It didn't have to end this way.


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