Friday, January 30, 2009

St. Xavier @ Elder Varsity Dual

Let me say it felt like Friday night football on this day.

It was X vs Elder in a Varsity dual last Saturday night. Gym was packed and the fans were very much into the match.

This dual was a good tough match-up, however I did not have an assistant official with me. It's amazing how much energy that is exorted not only physically, but mentally for a match like this. The focus has to be there.

It's hard to remember everything that went on that night but the match that stands out was when a kid from X seemed to be in control of the match and was leading by 2-3 points. But the next thing you know the Elder kid was on bottom and rocked him back and boom, there was a defensive pin. I hear half the gym cheering and half booing. One of the coaches asked me about the call. I told him what I had and he said 'Ok' and was fine with it. Total Class! Of course he wasn't happy with the pin but understood and was total class!
I have a saying that I like to go by: "I have no problem with competitive disagreement. But there is no place for disrespectful disagreement." No problem with coaches sticking up for there kids. That's what they're there for.

In the end Elder won the dual 40-17. After I got a shower and was getting ready to leave I spoke to some Elder and X fans. Both sets of fans had really nice things to say.

I did ask the X fans not to boo me when they saw me for the upcoming dual against Moeller. They replied, "Well that depends on you." I answered, "Now that's not true. It's up to the wrestlers." They laughed and said see you then.

Isn't this sport GREAT!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monroe Dual

This past Wednesday I was scheduled to officiate at Monroe high school.

When I got there I found out that there opponents only six wrestlers and since Monroe had ten wrestlers, there would only be four matches.

One of my fellow refs officiated the Jr. High match before and decided to stay and assist for the Varsity. It made for a quick night.

I will say that we heard some hilarious stuff coming from one of the coache's corner. He was totally cracking us up.

I had X vs Elder last night and let me say that was intense. I'll update later on about that one. I'll see X again at Moeller on Wednesday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mason Super Duals Youth

Whoa, this Super Duals was hard core! Some darn good wrestling was going on!

This past Sunday the tournament featured 14 teams and let me say the youngsters were putting on a show.

In the first round I had to have an extended conversation with one of the youngsters. At the end of the first period time had clearly run out before he got around his opponent for a takedown. Wasn't even close. Next thing I know the young guy is irate. At first I didn't even understand what he was upset about but then I saw his coaches yelling at him to calm down. So I walked over to him and had a heart to heart conversation of correction, coaching, and positive reinforcement. After the match the coaches came up to me and said 'Thank you, he needed that.' The kids father was matside as well and told me 'Thank you' too. Believe it or not but this is why some of us officiate, to give back to the sports we love.

With that said the final four teams standing in the semi-finals were Lancaster vs Fairfield and Fighting Irish (Indianapolis Cathedral) vs Glen Este. Russell and myself officiated the Irish/Glen Este semi. This was midday Sunday youth wrestling and the atmosphere is electric and the matches intense.

These two teams were evenly matched. Unfortunately there were a few forfeits but in the end it was an awesome dual. I've had some big high school football games, big college football games, big Varsity wrestling matches (like X @ Elder tonight), but this was every bit as exciting. Hey, I have to take it serious because the wrestlers, coaches, and fans all do. This is there Super Bowl.

The match that stands out to me was the battle of the coach's sons. Shortly into the match the Irish kid locks an over and under for a throw right into nearfall and it's 4-0 just like that. Into the second period and we start off neutral. The two wrestlers lock up again over/under and this time the Glen Este kid throws right into nearfall and it's 4-4, just like that. We got a battle going on here.

Now the deciding third period. It's the Irish kid's choice and he chooses down. Period starts and the GE kid is riding tough, but with about 24 seconds left the Irish kid starts to come underneath and tries to split the middle. I stop the match because we have an illegal scissors around the head on GE. So on the restart GE kicks him out and now it's 6-4 as the clock is tick tock tick tocking away. 3, 2, 1, time and that's the way it ends 6-4 Irish. It's pretty loud in there at this point of time. The fans were so into it.

After it's all said and done the Irish pull out the win in a hard fought classic dual. I'm done for the day but they continue wrestling. Glen Este defeats Fairfield in the next round and take third place and the Irish beat Lancaster for the championship. I'm sure they had a nice drive back to Indianapolis.

Once again Mason ran an awesome tournament and got us done super quick. John you are the man! Everyone was great on this day and it was fun to be a part of. I'm outta there and headed home to watch the Cardinals pounce on the Eagles.

Until the next meet...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lakota West Duals

One of my favorite events to ref is the Lakota West Varsity Duals. Why you may ask? Good wrestling, good atmosphere, treated well, and good hospitality room. The parents do an awesome job with the food.

We had five officials for four mats and the way the rotation worked out, I was sitting out for the first round of the duals. So I hit the hospitality room had a little breakfast and then watched some intense wrestling in the first round.

Fan day
Before it was my time to go out on the mat I had some conversations with some of the moms. One of the moms shared with me that her son was doing good at college with his wrestling career and what he wanted to do after graduating.

Another mom shared with me what it was like for her son for the previous wrestling season. He is a really good kid and came over and joined our conversation.

Believe it or not but we don't think fans are all bad. Some are just passionate and I can appreciate that as long as they don't cross the line.

Speaking of passionate, it was my turn to join in on the fun and officiate one of the duals in the second round. Before stepping onto the mat I warn some of the fans that stalling will be called so don't boo. We share some laughs and it's time for me to get on the mat.

In this round I officiated Lakota West vs. Lebanon. You gotta love it when the kids come out and just go at it. In fact they wrestled so hard that I hardly had any stall calls for the entire dual.

You gotta love those passionate fans. I usually don't pay attention to them but I heard them a couple of times. They later told me they were my cheering section. Lol! Good times!

In the end, West was just to much for Lebanon.

The third round I had Lebanon vs Anderson. They were pretty evenly matched. Unfortunately I had to do something I hate having to do and that was deduct a team point. I ended up talking with the kids dad about it and he'll be fine. Class coaches all day long. Makes my job a lot easier.

The fourth and final round I had Lebanon vs Princeton. Of course the Lebanon coach tells me he's tired of seeing me. He's joking, I hope. Princeton came out on top and it was for seventh place. In this round my mat got done early so I watched the first place match between Mason and Lakota West.

Kind of nice to just sit back and watch. But of course the lovable fans were all of over my peer who happens to be a State Official. So we shared some kind words and disagreed on a call or two. It's all in fun. They are just passionate about there team.

The tournament ran so smooth and efficient that I couldn't believe it got done so fast. I'll see some of these teams again in a few weeks at GMCs. Oh, I'm sure I'll see the fans too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fairfield Invitational

It was a cold and snowy night, but hey it's wrestling season inside so who cares.

I originally was supposed to officiate only on Saturday for this weekend at Moeller for their Super Duals. Early December I was asked to officiate on Friday evening for the first night of their Invitational wrestling tournament.

However, a few weeks later the Moeller Super Duals was canceled and I decided to keep the date open so I could get some rest.

So I arrived at the school at 3pm sharp and joined one of my peers as we conducted the hair, nails, and skin checks. Unfortunately some wrestler's nights ended right there. Safety first!

About an hour later some of our fellow officials started to trickle in as there were 4 mats set-up and their were 8 officials assigned for the tournament. Two of the officials came down from our neighboring officials association and they did a nice job and were cool guys too.

Now the host school always does a great job of managing a tournament and this was no exception. I was informed that there were some different teams added this year and so the match-ups were consistently tough. There wasn't a lot of pins going on so it made for a long first night.

There also were some strange things going on in some of the matches. I'll stay away from specifics out of respect for all involved.

I felt good out there and didn't have to receive to much flack from the coaches. Got questioned a couple of times and I don't have a problem with that. Just fighting for the kid and they were respectful.

I had a match scheduled for tonight but it got rescheluded for February. I'm at the Lakota West Duals on Saturday and that should be a good time with a lot of good wrestling. I'll try and post more specific details about wrestling for that event.

Special Thanks to Cindy Running for the pics!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wrestling back on

I got back at it again on the mat this weekend.


I was scheduled to officiate a youth wrestling quad match and let me tell you the little guys were going at it. It's unbelievable to watch them use better technique than some of the older guys.

The quad featured Glen Este, Mason, Fairfield, and the host school Moeller. I typically only do a few youth assignments a season and this happen to be one of them. Michael Jaspers was the other official with me and he does a nice job.

There was some really good wrestling going on and Glen Este was laying the hammer down.
There guys do a nice job over there but then again all four of these youth clubs do a fantastic job. But on this night, Glen Este was the top dog.

It was a fun night for me as well because my wife brought our son up to watch. He has seen me officiate the older kids, but this is the first time he has seen the little guys. He loved it and was totally into it. He will turn 2 years old next week.


I actually had to go back to Moeller again on the following day and officiate a Moeller junior high quad. Wow! I thought there was some good wrestling the night before but it was another level on this day. This quad was loaded with the host Moeller, Elder, St. Bernadette, and Lowell, Michigan.

From what I was told the wrestlers from Lowell, Michigan go to Davidson high school at the next level and some of the St. Bernadette wrestlers go to St. Edward.

I was joined by Russell (pictured above). Like Mike, Russ does a good job of officiating as well.

All four of the teams had some kids that should make some noise at the Varsity level in a few years.

The match of the day was a Moeller kid vs a St. Bernadette kid. These guys seem to be even on the mat and they were really good wrestlers. The score was tied 3-3 in the third period and near the endline the Bernadette kid got the takedown with about 20 seconds left. He almost gave up a reversal but held on and won 5-3. Tough match between two good kids and class kids to boot.

Not sure who won the quad overall, think it was Moeller. But in the end it was a great day. Duane took care of us with some good food and the coaches from all the teams were class acts. A few made sure they came up to us and shook our hands and told us excellent job.

It's nice when we can all be cordial with each other after a long competitive day!