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Ohio University wrestlers Luke Nace (left) and Kagan Squire (right) only recently found out they were distant cousins. The news has made them become even closer friends than they were before.

Wrestling: Parents Weekend reunites more than parent-child relationships

Kagan Squire and Luke Nace were brothers on the mat, but are now cousins, too. 

It all began with a picture.

During Parents Weekend in 2014 the wrestling team had a family barbecue, and the Bobcats huddled for a team picture.

The picture was eventually put up on Facebook, where Kagan Squire’s mother saw it and showed it to her second cousin, Luke Nace’s grandmother. 

Nace wasn't at the barbecue — he was at the airport for a class — but his grandmother started piecing together the family tree.

Soon, the mother and grandmother texted one another and realized they both had kids wrestling for Ohio. 

After a volley of texts, Nace was the one who broke the news first. 

According to Nace, he sent over a text to Squire saying, “Can you believe we’re cousins man! That’s crazy!”

Nace and Squire were officially cousins thanks to a simple picture. 

Afterward, the "cousinship" took off.

Previously, the two wrestled together in practice, but soon after the revelation, the two started throwing jabs about possible family reunions and gatherings.

“We just thought it was really funny that we found out we were cousins,” Nace said. “We just started making jokes about seeing each other at a family reunion and stuff like that. We were pretty excited that day.”

The two first met during Nace’s freshman year in 2014, where Squire and Joel Shump became "big brother figures" to him due to their weight classes being so similar, said Nace.

According to Nace, he could, and still does, go to them for anything. 

“It just made the bond a bit stronger,” Squire said. “I always looked at him as a younger brother, and now that I know we’re related it made me want to look out for him even more.” 

Spartak Chino has wrestled with Squire for four years, and described him as "one of the hardest working wrestlers" he has ever met. Through injuring both of his shoulders, and not finishing a single year for the Bobcats, Squire said he is redshirting the 2015 season to regain health so he can fully contribute next season.

Nace, on the other side, will compete in the weight class of 125 this year, a lightweight, but will hopefully contribute. 

“(Nace) is a young guy, but he’ll do anything he can to help the team,” Chino said. “He’s always learning, always improving to get to that next level, I couldn't say good enough things about either one of them.” 

The two met through a picture, but in it they were able to find a new family on the mat.


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