Championships, here we come! Well Neil is the one that is officially going but he certainly can't get there all by himself. So the Albrecht Squad will be headed to Columbia to watch Neil wrestling in his first state championships! He placed 3rd at Regionals this past weekend. It was a rough weekend for him. He was so careful all last week about what he was eating and working hard to maintain his weight. (For the record, I hate that part of wrestling!)
We weighed him before driving to the tournament and he was good...he was under his max weight. When we got there and he did his free-weigh in it said he was 8 oz over! We didn't want to take the chance that the scale was right so we went to our hotel's fitness room and he ran on the treadmill for a while. When we went back he was 2 lbs under! We celebrated by going to CiCi's pizza and had all you can eat pizza and pasta.
This was the first tournament that Neil has been to without his dad. His dad got to go away for a Military exercise leaving mom with wrestling duty. I don't mind at all but I admit I don't know as much about wrestling as dad does and certainly do not know the terminology to shout to him to encourage him during the match.
Neil lost his first match and in all honestly (not just the biased mama's opinion) he should have won that match but he lost focus and the coaches were of little help. We were both frustrated. We had to get him focused again before the next match where he would wrestle for 3rd place. By the time his match came around I knew he was in the right frame of mind. It only took him about 30 seconds to pin his opponent. We know that going to state as a first year wrestling is truly an honor and we also know that he may not place but he is looking forward to the experience. He has worked so hard all season and we are so proud of him.
We are more proud of the self-confidence he has obtained and the relationships he has built with his team members. Neil has never been very good at being social. This year he has really improved in that area. It's remarkable for us to see him encouraging his teammates and cheering them on. It's heartwarming to see all of the boys encourage each other after the hard losses. This is an emotional sport...it breaks my heart to see these kids fight so hard and then when they lose they are overcome with emotion. I want to cry with them. It's just so intense.
I know there a lot of people out there who have their opinions of wrestling and they made rude and ignorant comments about it but I'm here to tell you it's a wonderful sport and has done so much for our son. We are proud of him and his teammates, they have earned their way to the next level and we'll be there proudly supporting them.