Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Still waiting...

The wrestling team I help out with here is brand new this year, after the school has been probably five or six years without one. This means that practically none of the wrestlers had any mat experience whatsoever.

The head coach is also brand new; he wrestled in high school in New Jersey and did pretty well, going to state (which is like being REALLY good most places), but dropped it after high school and hadn't touched it since. He's got good rapport with the kids, and he's a great guy, but he's still learning the coaching ropes.

The team has one kid who just moved down from Pennsylvania (he's actually the grandson of a man in my church; PA is tough wrestling country too, by the way) and maybe one or two others with experience. Aside from that, it's just kids who played football, or nothing at all, and one who is some kind of kung fu whiz (and cross-country runner -- I don't think I've ever even seen him look tired). Several weight classes are completely empty, while others are being filled by guys bumping up a weight or even two.

They're fun to work with, some of them are very athletic or talented, and a few are downright tough. But as a team, they're still waiting for their first win. They came close, dropping a match 35-36 (after an inexperienced wrestler, in his rejoicing over winning his match, left the mat before shaking his opponent's hand -- that costs the team a point.) They went to another school, and when they got there, the other school hadn't realized they were having a match that night. They ended up scrimmaging, and Pender won -- but it doesn't count in the record books.

Then last night, they wrestled at home, and actually tied the other team. But they lost on the 6th tie-breaking criteria (that's so far down the list, I don't even remember what it is.) They're on the road again tonight -- maybe tonight's the night.


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