Nate's in his third season of wrestling, his first on the South Lyon High School wrestling team. I don't think he had any of what he was getting into when he decided to wrestle in High School, but I know as a parent, I was nervous for him. I wrestled for one year in middle school, but I had nowhere near the commitment to it that Nate has, or the talent and speed he's achieved. Being 6 feet tall and 112lbs gives him some unique factors as a wrestler - including really long arms and legs. Growing that much in such a short amount of time, it's amazing how his nervous system has kept in line and the speed Nate has on the mat.
The practices are a huge commitment - 5 days a week for 3 hours of grueling work, followed by the occasional 10 hour weekend tournaments and four hour tournaments throughout the week, not to mention the pre-season workouts they have.
Nate is in the best shape of his life, and loves wrestling, even the practices. Their Coach, a teacher from Centennial Middle School by the name of Brian Wilson seems like a great coach and he's built a team with a ton of camaraderie. They're a young group, with almost 30% being brand new to wrestling this year.
Nate's having a great freshman year. He started out wrestling JV and won about 80% of his matches. He's wrestled Varsity for his weight class twice this year and last night won his first Varsity match last night.
One of the parents shared this poem on wrestling (never thought you'd hear those two words go together, did you?) that really struck me after watching Nate wrestling for 3 years:
What high school sport makes the demands on the individual that amateur wrestling does? When a boy walks onto the mat, he stands alone. No one will run interference, no one will pass him the ball when he is under the net, no one will catch a high fly if he makes a bad pitch.
He stands alone. In other high school sports, where individual scores are kept, the contest is determined in time, distance, and height. But in wrestling, the score is kept on a boy's ability to overcome an opponent in a hand to hand contest, where a two second interval at anytime can mean a loss or a win. if an opponent gains an advantage, there will be no help, no substitute; there will be no time out and all can be lost in two seconds.
Yes, the boy stands alone. There is no place on a wrestling team for the show off, the halfhearted, or the weakling. When the whistle blows, a boy puts his ability, his determination, and his courage on the line. We who are close to the young men on our high school wrestling teams have watched the range of human emotions from elation to heartbreak. We have seen coaches with tears running down their cheeks as they try to console a young man who has given his all. . yet lost. Wrestling is a tough, hard sport, a life like, it is the survival of the fittest. The young men who enter and stay with the team know this. They also know that the time comes and the whistle blows . . .
THEY STAND ALONE!