The Western Academy wrestling squad finished off their season last Friday and Saturday at the city tournament, held by St. Francis Episcopal. Out of the ten Green Jays who fluttered hopefully into the gym, three managed to sustain their flight long enough to gain a place on the podium of champions. There were 12 teams competing and Western finished 5th overall.
In the 89-pound weight class, Ian Slot rallied after a quarter finals loss to come back and win third place. This was Ian’s first time participating in this tournament, and he ought to be applauded for defeating an opponent who he previously lost to in the season, thereby securing a place in the third-place match-up. With his quiet resiliency and strong work ethic, Ian continues to develop as a dependable competitor.
Ben Aycock finished up his middle-school career just shy of the city title. He took second overall, besting each of his opponents with relative ease, until coming upon a difficult matchup in the finals. Ben has served the team as a competent leader for two years now, and his cheerful presence in the wrestling room will be greatly missed.
Sam Hanse took third in the 150-pound weight-class, defeating his final opponent in a matter of seconds. With another two seasons ahead for Sam, this three-sport athlete is sure to make ever-advancing strides in the years to come
An honorable mention goes to Colton Ritchie and Andrew Langley, who fought hard in the eighty pound weight class. Andrew Langley lost a close match to the boy who would go on to take first, while Ritchie fell to a wrestler from Hogg middle school, who would take third overall. These two should be back in action next year; and whether they grow taller or wider in the offseason, they will surely be tough in any weight class they find themselves in.
Some of the younger Green Jay Grapplers, upon being asked by an interviewer how they felt now that wrestling season was over—and that they would have no more practice or cardio conditioning—began to dance and chant: “No more conditioning! No more conditioning!”
When this was heard by the blushing interviewer with shock and incredulity, these same young Green Jays went through pains to reassure him that the message behind their chant was not one of abhorrence, but rather one of fullness—much like how one feels after a substantial feast: unable to take in any more at the moment, but delighted at the prospect of another, in due time.
Thus, is the feeling of many wrestling enthusiasts young and old, and so it is with any of life’s trying endeavors.