(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The last time Spencer Riddle wrestled in Columbia, he got a surprise visit from his parents, who weren't able to watch him wrestle his first year at state.
"It kind of threw me off in my match, but it was nice," Spencer said. "It was a big surprise. I'm glad they came down to see me wrestle. I'm glad my mom was able to see me wrestle at state last year."
That was also the last time his mother, Chantel Nattier, would see him wrestle for Lafayette.
"This last summer, she was in and out of the hospital a lot being sick, and she went in and they took an x-ray and they found a cancerous tumor on one of her kidneys," Spencer said.
"He came up and said 'Coach I'm not going to be here for a week,'" Lafayette wrestling coach Kevin Jones said."He said 'My mom has to go the hospital for a few tests.' Then he came back and I asked him how things were going, and at that time he said everything was looking good. Then just a few weeks later it just all fell apart. "
After multiple surgeries and hospital visits, Spencer's mother was put on Chemotherapy on September 1st, the night of a Lafayette home football game against Marshall.
"We had just got done playing the football game, and I went out there and I had to take a taxi home. I got my sisters laid down and we went to bed," Spencer said recalling the night. "He woke me up the next morning and told me that she had passed away."
After losing his mother, Spencer took some time away from his studies until he felt ready to return to school, and the field.
"There for a little bit I thought about quitting football right after it happened, but my dad talked me into staying into it," Spencer said. "I'm glad he did. I'm glad I could finish out the season."
He finished the football season, and is now near the end of his senior year of wrestling.
After placing fifth at state last year, there's enough motivation to top that finish, but he will also be competing in her memory.
"I'd love to go win state for my mom. I really would," the Lafayette senior said. "If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, but I'm going to work for it."