Light Fixture Falls On Wrestler During Match

January 22, 2013 / Wrestling
The Argus Leader (S.D.), Dalton Walker

Madison high school wrestler Michael McComish was bloodied and knocked to the mat Friday night, but not by another wrestler.

The senior was hit by a spotlight that crashed down on him from the ceiling area in the Madison Middle School during a special wrestling event. The spotlight was used for the school’s annual wrestling meet billed “Madison Square Garden.”

The spotlight fell onto the back of McComish, who was in a referee’s position with his hands and knees on the center of the mat. just before the Chamberlain High School wrestler prepared to take the top position. A YouTube video of the incident shows the light falling onto McComish, and others around him scrambling to lift it off him. It also shows McComish receiving treatment to his head.

McComish, a senior, received stitches after the accident that happened about 50 seconds into his match.

McComish told The Daily Leader of Madison on Monday afternoon that he had 15 to 20 stitches on his forehead and the back of his head. He said the rope on the lighting fixture broke and he heard the chains rattle, then thought, “What the heck happened?”

His mother, Heather Bergheim, said her son has been a devoted wrestler since sixth grade and had to miss wrestling at the Kingsbury Tournament on Saturday. But she said he was there supporting the Bulldogs.

“We are very thankful it was not more serious,” she told the newspaper. “We are hoping for the best and taking it just one day at a time.”

McComish tweeted that he was not seriously injured not long after the match Friday night.

“Just letting everyone know I’m fine! Stitches in my head,” McComish wrote on his Twitter account, @comish69. “Gash on forehead and back of me head and little cuts from the glass nothin serious.”

Bud Postma, Madison School District athletic director, said McComish attended class on Monday.

“The unfortunate accident that occurred on Friday was indeed a scary moment for everyone involved,” he said in a statement. “We are thankful to report that (McComish) is recovering and is in school.”

The video has gotten national attention on blogs including and

Dale Waba saw the entire incident. The retired Madison Junior High School principal helps announce the team’s wrestling meets for an online website.

Waba said the spotlight was placed about 15 feet high, comparing it to the height of a top backboard of a regulation size basketball hoop and used specifically because of the special wrestling event. He said all the gym lights are turned off and the spotlight was shined on the one active wrestling match as a way to showcase the event.

Waba estimated the light weighed between 50 to 60 pounds and was about 5-foot in diameter. He said the light dropped and fell on McComish’s back.

“It zipped down right square on top of him,” Waba said. “There was no part of his body you could see. I thought he got burned. I asked him and he said ‘not really’ and that he had a cut on his head.”

Wrestling stopped for about 30 minutes, Waba said, to tend to McComish and to clean the broken glass from the spotlight. The regular gym lights were turned on and the meet was completed, he said.

“The place was packed on both sides,” Waba said. “We had some clos matches and all of a sudden that happened and everything just happened. Even 20 minutes later, people were still shaking their heads.”

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