Saturday, December 01, 2012

High School Wrestling

This week was Neil's first week as a high school wrestler. Well he's been practicing, but  now they are competing.  WOW, the emotions are a little intense.  He wrestled Thursday, Friday and today.  I seriously have a sore throat from all the yelling (yes, I'm a little crazy and loud...I have to make up for Kevin being gone).

I'm not going to lie, I had no idea how high school wrestling was going to be.  Everyone told me it was going to be different than middle school and club wrestling.  This is only our third year wrestling so it's still relatively new to us.  I made sure to write that in case I have what I'm going to write next all wrong!

As a freshman, my expectations for Neil to wrestle varsity didn't even exist until the summer came and the coach mentioned to Neil that he "may" put him in one of the slots that seniors had left.  There are only 14 weight classes and many wrestlers.  According to the paper I got at the match yesterday, there are 50 high school wrestlers.  In many other sports, you are put on teams by grade and if you are really good then maybe you get bumped up.  For wrestling we have a Junior Varsity and a Varsity team and in some weight classes there are more kids than slots (one wrestler per weight class on the Varsity team).  We spent most of the summer and the past few months wondering what weight class Neil would wrestle at.  It was going to be anywhere from 138-152.  A lot of that was based on what the Seniors were going to wrestle at.  In the end, Neil is wrestling 152.  His buddy from last year, the one that he had to go up against 6 times in one season is also wrestling 152.  There are two other boys wrestling 152.  Four kids, one slot.  Coach has Neil and his friend D alternating on varsity right now.  Both boys are okay with that.  As freshman, that's quite the opportunity.

So far Neil's high school stats are a big rocky.  He won Thursday wrestling JV - 14-4 over his opponent (who he said he wrestled in 7th grade, 8th grade and in club wrestling).  Yesterday he lost 14-4.  It was not the way he wanted to start his Varsity record but he fought the entire time, I couldn't be prouder.  When I looked up the kid on the internet, he has been wrestling for quite a while and is a state placer since he was a youth wrestler.  Neil certainly held his own against him and has nothing to be ashamed of.  Sometimes I forget that he has only been wrestling for three years when so many of those he will be wrestling against have been wrestling a good portion of their lives.  I have to remember that at times. 

I love our coaching staff though, they do not let Neil get down on himself and they do tell him where he went wrong but in a constructive manner and then they talk about what they need to work on together.  I love the positive environment.  I also love the team as a whole, how supportive they are of one another, that makes this transition a bit easier.  I'm not going to lie and say there isn't some competition and trash talking but it's pretty much harmless.

I don't know what the year has in store for Neil as far as wins and losses on paper but I do know that Neil will grow from the experience either way.  I'm proud of what he has accomplished so far, I think there's a lot more in Neil than we know right now and I look forward to seeing him grow over the next few years.

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