There are two passions in my life, aside from my family and grandchildren... red dogs and wrestling. Twenty 25 years ago, I was a new teacher in our local school district, Buckeye Local Schools. My principal Mr. Hall called me into the office and said, "we need a wrestling coach for the junior high school. You're it." So began my love of the sport. I never had wrestled as a student myself, so it bascially was up to me to "learn the ropes," which I did by attending some clinics, but mostly by beginning to attend the local high school practices with the varsity team. Over the next couple of years, I was able to learn enough about the sport to be able to teach the basics to my middle school athletes. In the course of the experience, I fell in love with the sport.
Wrestling is a lot like field trialing. It requires extreme dedication and committment. Wrestling is tougher than any other sport at the high school level. Football, basketball, cross country, track, soccer, all pale in comparison to wrestling. The training is more difficult, more physical, more punishing, and more intense. If you are going to win wrestling matches, you must have stamina, strength, flexibility, expertise and knowledge, and most importantly, a mental attitude. Unlike most high school sports, when a wrestler steps out on the mat, it's all him. There's no line backers, guards, wing man, or wide receiver to help out. Nobody to blame for the result. It's all you.
Wrestling builds character in young people. It teaches the most fundamental values that we all wish to see in our children. Mental toughness, appreciation for working as a team, "stick-to-it"iveness, good sportsmanship. It's the greatest sport in the nation for building young minds and bodies. It's also why you wont' find big crowds of young people flocking to sign up for the sport... it's tough, and many young people today unfortunately are not interested in anything tough. If I have 100 applicants for a job, and I note that 10 of them were high school wrestlers, they go to the top of the stack for consideration, because I know that they know the meaning of hard work, discipline, and committment.
The high school in our area where I worked and coached for 15 years is Edgewood Senior High School. Go Edgewood Warrier Wrestling!! We are good friends with our neighbors, the Dickeys, who happen to have 3 boys wrestling this year at Edgewood. Travis, Tyler, and Jordyn are great young men who give it their all when it comes to wrestling, academics, and just about anything that comes their way. When Deb and I are on the road and we need someone to help out with our animals and chores, these three young men step up to the plate and get it done for us. We couldn'd ask for better neighbors and friends.
This past weekend Edgewood wrestled in a 36 team tournament in Wheeling WVa. Some of the top wrestling athletes from around the tri-state area were present. It was an awesome 2 days of non-stop wrestling. I don't miss an Edgewood wrestling match (unless there's a dog event, which isn't often here in northeast Ohio), so this weekend I was able to get a few video shots of my favorite wrestlers in action... check them out!
This is Jordyn... Jordyn is a varsity wrestler at the 135 weight class. Jordyn has wrestled since he was in grade school. When he steps on the mat, he doesn't play... he intends to win. It's all about attitude.
This is Travis. Travis is a 13 year old freshman wrestler who is wrestling for Edgewood at the 103 varsity weigh class. Travis doen't play either! He's 100 pounds of intensity on the mat, and as you can see from this clip, when the chips are down for Travis, he steps it up a notch.
There are but two pains in life...
...the pain of discipline
... the pain of regret
Just do it.