Didn't he know about the hardships in her childhood? That her father, a troubled Vietnam War veteran, wasn't part of her life? That her mother, overwhelmed with financial and emotional problems, had decided her children were better off in the child welfare system than in her home?
Didn't the wrestling coach understand that she had bounced from a psychiatric ward to group homes to foster families, a life that became so unbearable that, when she turned 16, she emancipated herself?
And when that decision didn't solve her problems, that she sometimes slept anywhere she could find in Mount Holly -- on park benches, in motel rooms or even in her beat-up 1981 Toyota Corolla?
So that was why, months after that challenge from Bowker in the fall of 1998, Leigh Jaynes-Provisor showed up unannounced for the first day of wrestling practice. She didn't know much about the sport, but the coach discovered how wrong his assessment was in her first match.
"She takes this kid down in 30 seconds," Bowker said. "The kid blasted her with his elbow, knocking out one of her teeth. Well, she swatted the tooth right off the mat and continued to whoop that kid's ass.
"From that point out, we knew we had something right there."......