This past weekend, my son Marco competed in the NY State Youth Wrestling Championships as a 50lb. bantam. This is an event which you need to qualify for. Because he placed 1st in the County Qualifier, States was next. There were 15 competitors, seemed that most were local but a few were from as far as Brockport. Marco started strong, pinning his first opponent in 1:39. His second match was a lot tougher and Marco suffered his first pin ever in a competition, in 2:39. Before this, Marco lost only two matches in his entire career. The first loss was in his first tournament ever last year. The second was a few weeks ago when we wrestled him up one weight class at 55lbs.
The guy who beat Marco was a fantastic wrestler and went on to win the competition. Losing this match was pretty demoralizing for Marco. He was very upset and wanted to quit the tournament. Nothing I could say would change his mind. It was at this time, alone in the locker room, where I left him to think things over. After a little while, my brother Tom came to sit with him and talk to him about when he was a young wrestler. I don’t know exactly what Tom said, but Marco came out of the locker room ready to wrestle.
Tournaments are double-elimination. If you lose, you move over to the back side of the brackets and compete in wrestle-backs. The best you can do here is get 3rd as the 1st and 2nd place winners go to the finals undefeated. In the wrestle-backs, as they call them, Marco dominated and beat all of his opponents, 4 in a row. In total, Marco wrestled 6 times to achieve a bronze metal in the NY State Championship! I could not be more proud than to see him get knocked down and come back up like that. Here is the video of the entire event:
There are more tournaments in the post-season, some are at the national level. We know we’ll be going to at least one of these and hope to do a few in nearby states or NJ/PA. Also, my son Antonio has joined the wrestling team! I’m glad he’ll get some practice in this Spring and summer before the 2011/2012 season next winter. Go Antonio!