Yesterday was our district tournament for club wrestling. We knew going in that it was going to be a tough road for Daniel to get to state as he had a pretty full bracket. He has struggled this year, being in the bottom of his bracket as one of the youngest kids so we knew he was going to have to fight really hard. And he fought his little heart out and still came up just short. The top six of each bracket got to move on to regionals and Daniel finished 7th.
I cannot begin to tell you how my heart broke after his 4th match and second loss that would end his journey to state. I couldn't even go near him, I had to let him go off and cry alone and with his brother. I knew there was nothing I could say in that moment that would make him feel better. I knew that because in that moment, there was nothing that anyone could say to me to make me feel better. I was pretty heartbroken for him. I wanted to cry and I held it in for a while.
It really sucked because I was taking the money and preparing our club roster to turn in with the names of the kids who would be advancing. It was a bitter pill to swallow as I wrote down kids who didn't win a match that day but still got to advance because there were less than six kids in their bracket. It took me quite a while before I could cross Daniel's name of the roster and when I did, I cried. It simply sucks when your kid has to learn that sometimes like just isn't fair.
That being said, I am so proud of Daniel! He never stopped working hard this season. He never mentioned the word quit. Yes, he had some very disappointing tournaments but unlike some of the kids we know...he didn't just stop coming because he lost, he kept going back! He tried his best and he poured his soul into every match. No one can deny that Daniel has heart and if that had been enough, he would be on the medal stand at state.
I also love that Daniel supported his team so well. He was always going and watching other kids and cheering them on. I wish more of the kids on our team would do that for each other but I'm so grateful for Daniel and his desire to be a good teammate. I also love that he always wanted to hug the kids that he beat. He always walked them off the mat telling them what a good job they did. It makes me proud to know that he has good sportsmanship.
Overall, yesterday was pretty crappy but Daniel has nothing to be ashamed of. He had a great season with some awesome matches, some heartbreaking losses and lots of heart and determination. It was painful calling up the hotel and canceling our reservation for the next round, but at the same time I figure I'll just put that money in savings for next year when Daniel makes it all the way to state!
Here's a short highlight reel of Daniel's season!