For years I have heard men of all ages speak with pride about the State Individual Wrestling Tournament. I never understood the big deal until I actually attended the event. This past weekend, the top wrestlers from all four divisions in the State of Michigan met at the Palace of Auburn Hills and held a three day competition.
The event began with The Grand March, as all the athletes took to the mats for the opening ceremony. Day one guaranteed each athlete a single match. The tournament was double elimination, so all athletes, win or lose, had two days of competition.
As a spectator, I saw emotions run high for all here, parents, coaches, players… Top athletes occasionally faced unexpected loss and long shots fought their way up the brackets. As a mother, I was not prepared to watch my son end his high school wrestling career. I will never forget that final match and aftermath, the tears, hugs, and handshakes with team mates, coaches, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents, bonding in the hallway outside the stadium.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I will be forever grateful for the gifts of wrestling. Wrestling gave my sons a healthy opportunity in their youth to expel energy. Later, as young adults they found focus in stressful situations while observing their opponent and making immediate decisions on the mat. Wrestling helped mold them into men.
If you ever have an athlete, friend’s athlete, family member, or any excuse to attend, treat yourself to an adventure and witness the State Individual Wrestling Finals.