First of all, two pictures to illustrate why there will probably not be pictures of SportsBoy himself wrestling:
So when did I see that particular wrestling move above? On Saturday. By men who looked quite a lot like these two actually. Wait, no..the guy doing the lifting really doesn’t have *enough* tattoos to be a fair representation.
I beginning to pick up that wrestling might be a spring board to NASCAR from what I saw this weekend.
SB is no longer wrestling just against other schools in the area. Now the weekend events are part of the State Championship Post Season series of meets. So it’s a mish mash of the more serious wrestlers who are trying to get themselves ranked in their state and eventually, nationally. The meets are for all ages. And I mean – ALL ages!! There were way more adults than kids. Including our own kid’s coach who was ranked 8th nationally in his age group 10 years ago but has not wrestled since – he just went on into coaching. His debut match was not one for the record books….he lost by shutout which means after two rounds he had not scored any points. Which, actually places him about where SportsBoy usually ends up so at least we don’t feel so bad :-)
So here’s the scene – you get there between 7-8am and register and weigh in. Strip weight. Which I learned the hard way when like a good mom I blindly started to walk into the registration room dutifully carrying my son’s USA wrestling card and the $10 entry fee. Only to be greeted by the sight of MEN in their underwear standing on scales. ACK! Back away quietly, hand SB his paperwork and try to forget what I saw. ACK!
Grab some breakfast and then head into the gym. The boys go warm up and parents find a place to call home in the stands. Not so comfy stands of course. I should have brought in my stadium seat but I didn’t. So I survey the gym and notice not just all the adults, but some pretty little kids too. I guess you can start wrestling at 7? There was a girl in that age group. Man they looked so dang small compared to everyone else! But they were also aggressive little stinkers! I swear it must be so hard for that age not to bite or pull hair – don’t know HOW they stay disciplined! They had some tough matches though and you could see on their faces how hard they were trying.
We noticed some rather err….’rough’ looking guys most likely in their early 20s. Not just the tattoos but their overall demeanor. As one dad put it “He’s done a stint in federal prison. Just one though.” Considering the dad is a criminal defense attorney, I didn’t really doubt it!! We saw some unfortunately fitting singlets – ACK! again – and some that with material that looked more like a Hawaiian shirt or tropical bathing suit. Also, the adults? They pull off moves like that one above and it sounds *harsh*! All you hear is this *WHOMP* and it looks so pain full. The sounds in the gym between the whistles & coaches yelling at their wrestlers and the WHOMPS is pretty intense. My favorite screaming though was the mom in the stands hollering at her daughter “Do NOT roll over baby! Do NOT let him roll you!!!”
Then we saw him. The Tiger I called him. Pacing the outskirts of the mats in just his gray gym shorts. No singlet (You didn’t have to have one at this event which was another unfortunate sight in many cases!). Bare chest. Drooping skin. Minor beer belly. Balding, gray, longish hair flapping along with his skin as he paced. No, not a coach or a referee – a wrestler! Oh my. Bless his lack of self consciousness though because even though he lost his first match – I kid you not but to one of the tattooed alleged former prisoners – he took advantage of the double elimination setup and wrestled his way back into the semi-final round! We couldn’t help clapping for him, creepy as he looked. One of the moms actually went up to talk to him between matches and found out he is 52 years old. Silly girl got his autograph! It *was* pretty amusing.
Good thing too because my son ended up in a weight/age class of only 2 other boys. Both his teammates :-( One who is a veteran of these events and who was ranked in the state last year. He could have beat the other boy. In fact with this post season scoring being what it is he was literally 20 seconds from victory. You wrestle three rounds but each round counts as a win/loss vs points accumulating so if you outright win the first two on points, the match is over. He shutout the first round 6-0 and was up 4-0 with the aforementioned 20 seconds to go and made a positioning mistake and found himself pinned in a way that scored the other boy enough points to pull out that round 5-4. Then he was shut out 4-0 in the third. Poop! He still had to wrestle his good friend who is so much better than him and promptly lost that one 6-0 & 4-0 basically on the same move each time. It’s all good experience and now he knows how to a) prevent the mistake he knows he made in the first match and b) get out of the move used twice against him in the second, but he was still pretty deflated at the two losses.
Like I said though – his coach lost too. He knows he just needs to get more matches as that is really how you learn.
Meanwhile, I learned to let him go to the sign up/weigh in area by himself and also to bring my bleacher seat and perhaps a book. You know, just in case The Tiger or the tattoo boys aren’t there to keep me entertained.