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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Districts Disaster... With A (Somewhat) Happy Ending

Districts is done!


For those of you not into the sport of wrestling, you might want to skip this post.  ;)  For those of us who have been sucked into the world of it, this time of year, it's all we think about.  Its such an integral part of my life, I can't help but post about it.  Actually, I'm surprised I've been able to keep my mouth shut on here about it (for the most part) for this entire season.  LOL!!  :D


So, we had Districts on Sunday.  

Its a big deal.

A quick explanation of how the process works here in Iowa:
1) The state is divided into eight districts.
2) The kids are bracketed according to grade into 3 divisions:
     3rd/4th Grade:  A Division
     5th/6th Grade:  B Division
     7th/8th Grade:  C Division
3)  After division, they are further broken down and bracketed by weight by 5 lb increments.
     Division A:  55 lbs - 175 lbs
     Division B:  60lbs - 205 lbs
     Division C:  70 lbs - 260 lbs
Brackets can be as small as a 1 man, who doesn't have to wrestle to qualify and as big as a 32 man.  In bigger tourneys, there are 64 man brackets, but those are national tourneys.  
4)  The Top 4 Place Winners in each bracket qualify for AAU Kids State in Des Moines to compete against each other for the Top Eight Places in the state.

Soooo....

Sunday was the AAU Districts Qualifiers.  Fortunately, our school is the host school for the District #3 Northeast Qualifiers, so we didn't have as far to drive as some.



Pretty much our whole family has been dominated by thoughts of this for the last two weeks.  Last week was filled with practices, eating super healthy, and getting mentally prepared for this day.  Some might say that these are just young kids...  Yeah.  Try telling THEM that!  LOL!  They take it pretty seriously, as do we.  So, it was pretty much the dominate topic for the last couple of weeks.  In fact,  I slept poorly all last week because every night Ian and Noah were wrestling in my dreams.  Not so good when you're trying to get over some lingering crud like I have.  LOL!

Sunday morning, Noah woke up at 5:45am, by himself, raring to go.  Ian had spent the night at Grandpa and Grandma's, so we picked him up on the way to the school and got there around 6:30 am.  Ian weighed in and his weight was fine, even a little lighter than I would have liked to see him at 82.9.  Noah...  Disaster!  .4 pounds over at 65.4.  He had to weigh 65 or under to register at 65. So, he suited back up and layered on the sweats to try to get under.  After about 10 minutes, he said he wasn't going to do it.  He just didn't think he could get it off.  Personally, I didn't think he could either.

Sidenote:  For those of you who think this is completely barbaric, give me a chance to explain the concept.  The concept is that you want to be the heaviest possible, while still making the weight you have chosen to wrestle at.  If you qualify at a few ounces under, after you eat, you're heavier and actually, even OVER your qualifying weight.  It helps your odds in winning the bracket if you're heavier than those you're wrestling against.  Yes, its called "cutting weight".  However, if you are only over a pound or so, this isn't a big deal.  You can lose a pound, like I said, overnight when you sleep or by urinating.  Yes, there are people who will cut their child down 5 lbs. or more to try to get into a bracket they think they have a better chance of winning (COMPLETELY CRAZY!!!!).  WE don't do that.  Two lbs is all we're willing to do.  Noah had been working to get 1.5 off for two weeks.  It wasn't happening.

Personally, I had wanted Noah to go 70, even though we didn't know a thing about most of the competitors in that weight class.  I just didn't think with his build he had the extra 2 lbs to lose.  Scott was afraid we wouldn't be able to get enough weight on him before Districts and he'd be at disadvantage being at the light end of the weight.  When are men going to learn to listen to their wives???  LOL!!!

So, Noah was beside himself (Translation:  He was mad, pouting, and refusing to wrestle).  I decided to take him to McD's and try to get some food in him and talk him into the right frame of mind.  I was so frustrated that he had woken up so happy and looking forward to the day, only to be completely derailed over a pesky 5 ounces!  He wouldn't even LOOK at me!  Each child has a different personality and Noah, when he's upset, just shuts down.  Won't talk.  Won't look at you.  Nothing. (He's his father's son LOL)  So, I've learned that I have to just sit and be patient.

Finally, he says, "I'm just going to let them pin me." ARGHHHH!

So, I say, "Noah.  You can do that.  However, you will be letting your club down.  But more importantly, you will be letting yourself down."

He thought on that for a few minutes and says, "I can't wrestle kids 5 lbs heavier than I am."  You see, to a kid that wrestles at these ages, 5 lbs might as well be 100.

I said, "Noah.  Listen to your momma.  Yes, you can.  You've been wrestling heavier kids all season.  If I didn't think you could handle it, I wouldn't put you on the mat."

He says, "But I won't qualify."

And I said, "No, you may not, but how are you going to know if you don't try?"

And he says, "What if I don't?"

And I said, "Noah.  Its not about qualifying.  I don't care about you qualifying.  All I care about is you giving your best effort and not letting down yourself or your club.  That's all I'm asking of you."

Then, dead serious, he says, "I'll need a pack of Skittles and a Gatorade."  Them's fighting words!  Noah's head was back in the game. (Okay, and maybe I bribed him a little too.  HA!)  Thank goodness!

So, we ran to the store, got him his Skittles and Gatorade and he was raring to go - kind of.

I admit, I didn't watch a single match of Ian and Noah's.  For one, I was busy helping with the concessions, running errands, and popping in and out of the hospitality room that was set up for our volunteers working the tourney.    Scott would seek me out and tell me how they did after each match.  If I'm honest, I purposely stayed away from the mat.  Seeing your child out there evokes the most consuming emotions in a mother.  More so than seeing them play soccer, baseball, basketball, or football because it is them and them alone, out in the center of a circle fighting with everything they have to win the match.  It it up to them, with no one to help them.  Even the calmest mothers I know, turn into ranting and raving lunatics when their child is on the mat.  And I'm no where close to being a calm person to begin with.  LOL!  It's just better for me (and sometimes I think, for them) to not have me on the sidelines.  Its just too emotional.  ;)

Side Note:  Each match is 3 one minute periods.  They both had 16-Man brackets.  Ian's had 4 byes and Noah's had 3 - although neither of them benefitted from them.  A bye advances you to the next round without wrestling because there's no one to wrestle that round.  If you keep winning, you stay on the front side of the bracket, if you lose, you get knocked to the backside (or consolation side) of the bracket and the best you can get at that point is 3rd place.  It took me the entire first season and half of the second one to figure out how that all worked - and I still don't understand where they go to on the backside when they lose.  LOL!!!

Ian won his first match (unfortunately against our nephew) with a pin in 2:53.

Ian wrestling his 1st match.
You can see Scott on his knees at the upper right corner,
with Noah sitting indian-style beside him to the right.

The pin.

Noah won his first match 2-0 with a reversal in the last 11 seconds of the 3rd.  Scott said he nearly had a heart attack.  LOL!

Ian won his second match with a pin in :46.  SWEET!

Noah won his second match with a pin.  BONUS!

At this point, they were both in the semi-finals.  If they both won their next match, they would go into the finals round to wrestle for District Champion.

I was on pins and needles and saying prayers in my head.

I was at the grocery store getting soda when Scott called.  He says all dead serious, "Noah WILL NOT be going to State as 3rd or 4th place qualifier."  He sounded kind of mad.

I said, "Oh God.  Did he have a meltdown after he lost?"

Scott says, "He will be going as District Champion or District Runner-Up!"

I said, "He won?"

Scott said, "He won.  7-2."

I whooped down the entire store - and got a few odd looks when I did a victory dance.  LOL!  Hey!  I have no shame when it comes to my boys!  HA HA HA!

Unfortunately, when I got back to the school, the news for Ian was not so good.  He had lost his semi-finals match to a phenomenal kid he's wrestled 3 times this year and Ian's never managed to not get pinned.  However, there was victory in the fact that he didn't get pinned that time.  He did lose though, 12-0.  That was tough for him, but he handled it well and showed good sportsmanship.  Thankfully, it looks like we're past the temper tantrums on the sidelines after he loses.  :P  He's grown a lot in that this year.  It must come with age.

So, Ian had to go to the consolation side and had to win his next match to advance to the 3rd/4th place round.  Unfortunately, he lost that one too.  12-6.  Bless his heart.  He was devastated.  He cried, but he kept it together until he got out of the gym.  My heart broke for him when he came and found me.

And how do you balance elation for one with heartbreak for the other?  It was an emotional roller coaster of a day.




So, after loving up on Ian, I found Noah and pumped him up a bit.  And then I actually watched the match.

So, the Finals...


Noah lost.  7-0.  It was a tough match, and he handled it well.  We were just tickled to death that he didn't throw a fit over his first loss this season.  Thank goodness!  It is a MAJOR breach of wrestling etiquette to throw a fit when you lose.  He kept a poker face until he got off the mat.  He actually handled it better than some of the high school kids I've seen.  Going into State being 24-1, isn't too shabby - especially after a 6 week hiatus!  :D



Although, come to find out, the boy that took first place had taken 3rd at USA State the previous weekend in the 75 lb weight class, so that made it a lot easier for him to take.  Talk about cutting weight!  Although he may have weighed 71 and still been in that weight class.  But looking at this picture, Noah looks tiny compared to these kids!  He was disappointed,  but by the end of the day, was goofing off with everyone else.


Ian went on to pin his final match of the day in :41, so that was a great way to end things.  He'll be the alternate in our district for that weight class, should someone be unable to attend - although that is pretty unlikely.


Still, its like I told him, "You're a 5th grader and you had a pretty strong showing against some really good kids that are more than likely 6th graders.  Be ashamed of nothing, because we're not.  We are very, very proud of you."  And we are.

So, now our focus turns to State.  2 days, 32 kids, and a huge mountain to climb.  But for Noah to be in the top 32 in his weight class out of hundreds of kids in the state, is nothing to sneeze at.  Its a privilege for him just to be there!  :)

And hopefully, I can get to feeling better and kick this nasty head and chest cold well before February 26th!  Even I'm getting tired of not having any crafts to post about.  I need to get over this!!!!




4 comments:

sonia said...

LOVE those two wrestlers of yours - they both did super great, and we are proud of them both! thanks for the reprieve for Dylan afterwards - he was super excited about the junkfood bonanza (aka: Laura's homemade candy shakes!) and is already talking about State for next year - YAY!!!!!

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