Sunday, February 22, 2009

Moeller Division I Sectional Wrestling Tournament

That's what I'm talking about! Some good wrestling.

For those of you reading that may not know, you have to place in the top four in your weight class to qualify for the District tournament the following week. All the wrestlers that make it to District have to place in the top four to qualify for the State tournament.

So as you can imagine, it is an intense day for everyone in the gym. The wrestlers, coaches, officials, fans, scorekeepers, trainers, and anyone else you can think of.

One great thing about the day for us is that we had a strong day! Dan, a fellow official who I spoke about on a previous post gathered us around and coached us up. For this tournament there were 6 officials on 3 mats. Wrestling started at about 10:30am with six rat-tail matches. I had the pleasure of getting us started, and just like that it was qualifying time.

Good battles all day long and just a lot of rooting by the fans and a lot of coaching by the coaches. I think I only got booed once on the day (at least the only one that caught my ear, ha ha!). After the first round, we had two officials for every match in the winner's bracket. That definitely worked well.

So before you know it we're drawing numbers for our rotation to officiate the finals matches. Once again I would be starting us off with the first championship match at 103 lbs. Because of the draw I would end up officiating three finals. The next final I would officiate was the 135-weight class, but it would end early because of injury default.

The last championship match I would officiate on the night was the 215-weight class. At this weight the Hamilton wrestler was winning the entire match against the Glen Este wrestler. What was really great about officiating this match is that the Hamilton wrestler stayed aggressive and kept going forward the whole third period so I didn't even have to think about calling stalling.

This makes me think about something else, the match of the day. I mentioned Dan earlier rallying us around and coaching us up. Well he had the honor in officiating Part IV of the Match!

It was at 130 lbs. and it was the classic Gcl match-up between Moeller and St. Xavier. I had the privilege of officiating Part II between these two wrestlers a couple of weeks ago and that was a doozy! I was told there first match-up was 1-0 with the X wrestler coming out on top. The match I officiated was 5-3 for the Moeller wrestler. They went at again last week for the league title in the championship match with the Moe wrestler coming out on top again 1-0. So here we go again in the finals for all the marbles.

As an official we love to do these high pressure matches. I remember my rookie year in officiating someone said if you really want to be a great official, "You need to officiate a lot of matches and get experience, and desire to do the tough matches and get it right." Couldn't agree more.

Dan was happy to have drawn this match and has kind of gotten used to them since he does such a good job and has officiated in the last two State Championship tournaments. So enough talk the match was on. One thing though, I didn't get to watch one moment of it because I was officiating two very good wrestlers in the own right for the third place match right next to it. So I had no idea what was going on. So as I think back, I heard the fans a few times throughout their match. But then as my matching was getting near the end I heard a thud and the crowd erupt crazy loud! I still had no idea what was going since I had to focus on my own match. So the first place match ended before mine. So a few moments later my match was over and I got the 411 on the championship match. It was 3-2 with time winding down, just like the match I officiated between these two recently. But this time the X wrestler hit a throw for a five point combo and that was it. 7-3 was the final. The place went nuts.

So Dan if you happen to read this, I've heard great feedback on how the match was officiated.

Part V could very well happen again next week at the Districts at Fairfield. It's sort of too bad we'll miss it. It's not all bad because Dan, myself, and about six others will be officiating at the Kettering Fairmont District.

If I have the pleasure of getting a match of that caliber I will work to be as steady and consistent as Danny Boy! My wife, friends, peers and most importantly myself have confidence that I'll come through in the clutch. So I'm good to go!

Foot on the line, 'wrestle in the center of the mat', 'shake hands', Whistle!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

GMC Wrestling Tournament at Oak Hills

I started my post season last Saturday.

I think this is the 4th or 5th year I've officiated this tournament. Awesome tournament to be a part of and a privilege.

I have to say for a tournament of this caliber, I was surprised that there weren't more fans. After all it is probably the greatest individual sport to watch.

The tournament went pretty smooth for me this year. I ended up officiating three finals matches with the last one being the 215 weight class. Two good wrestlers with the Hamilton kid coming out on top with a major decision. I figured I would have a lot to write about pertaining to this tournament but everything went so smooth and calm that I don't remember anything out of the ordinary happening.

Lakota West came out on top with Mason almost overtaking them. Fairfield ended getting third.

I just remembered there was one thing. On one of the matches I was assisting, one of the wrestlers threw up on the other. Yuck! Sometimes I guess it just happens. Injury time, clean up, lets wrestle.

My post season continues tomorrow at Moeller for the Division I sectional. I'm praying for the snow to stay away so the tournament does happen on schedule. Next week is the end of my season besides some off season tournaments, as I will be officiating at the Kettering Fairmont District.

Pray that I finish strong. Not for my sake, but for the kids and the sport.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Moeller vs St. Xavier Varsity Dual

Gcl madness on Saturday. Moeller vs X for my last match of the regular season. It was originally scheduled a couple of weeks earlier but had to be rescheduled because of the snow. I was fortunately open on the make-up date.

It was Senior night for Moeller and they did recognize the class of '09 wrestlers. But after they finished they also recognized coaching legend from X, Dick Murphy. Class act by Moeller. I had Fairfield earlier in the year and they did the same thing for Beavercreek's head coach. Nice work everyone!

We started the evening at 145. There are couple of moments that stand out to me after doing this match.

At 189, it was in the third period and the Moeller kid was leading either 8-5 or 8-6 and was on top. The wrestlers get near the endline and the X kid ends up getting out and locks around the Moe kid's ankles. But when the Moe kid hit the mat it looked like his shoulders touched the hardwood floor. I gave one escape instead of two reversal. X coach wanted an explanation of the call and never got disrespectful. I told him why I had one and he didn't agree. His kid ended up losing the match either 8-6 or 8-7, can't remember exactly. I spoke to the assistant after the match and he thought it should have been two. I replayed it over in my head a few times after this and agreed that it should have been two. A couple of matches later there was injury time during a match and I got a chance to speak to the coach again. I told him that I apologized and think he was right it should have been a reversal. I Told him I felt bad. He was all class and said, "Don't worry about it, you're doing a great job." Class act! Thanks coach!

I should have checked with the assistant before going on and it wouldn't have hurt if he came to me to discuss it. It's a good learning experience and hope we can improve from the situation.

The other moment was the 130 match. I was told that earlier in the year when these two met it was a 1-0 score. Well they did not disappoint the fans. Right off the bat the Moe wrestler took down X near the endline. X wrestler got a couple of escapes and the Moe kid got one as well. Now it's 3-2 in the third period and the clocking is winding down. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've called stalling to tie a match up with seconds to go. This was one of those times. The X wrestler had the Moe wrestler's arms locked up. The Moe wrestler had his head right in his opponent's chest with hips back. As usual I was being very vocal with the wrestlers to turn it up, but then with about 8 seconds left I hit the Moe kid for stalling. He had already been warned once so this one cost him a point and just like that it's tied 3-3. Must have lit a fire to him because he immediately took the X wrestler down near the endline with 2 seconds left and there you have it, 5-3.

Awesome match and the fans were appreciative of it. The match of the evening. It was a lot of fun to be a part of and a great atmosphere to end the regular season!

Just like that it's post season time!

La Salle Varsity Wrestling

Friday night wrestling. That's what we had last week.

First a JV match between La Salle vs Hamilton. There were some good matches.

Then it was on to the Varsity. First La Salle bested Northwest. Then it was time for the final dual for the night.

It was La Salle vs Hamilton and there were some awesome matches. Unfortunately for only the second time during a Varsity match I had to deduct a team point because of a wrestler's actions at the end of the match. His coach spoke with him and it he'll be fine.

But it all came down to the end. I don't remember who was winning but one of the teams had the lead 35-34 going into the last match which was Heavyweight.

So here we go. Whistle, match, to his back. Hamilton kid came out with authority and took control right away, had the the La Salle kid on his back. Slap, match over. Hamilton wins!

Long night, three duals by myself but it was fun. Not to much booing so maybe I did alright for once. Nah

Sunday, February 8, 2009

LIttle Miami Tri-Match

Wednesday wasn't the best weather but the matches went on.

It was a Tri-Match between Little Miami, Norwood, and a team from Kentucky.

The Kentucky kids wrestled hard but went down in both matches. Norwood only had seven wrestlers but the magnificent seven can hold there own. They have some hammers on their team. To many forfeits to overcome. Little Miami ended up winning this one as well.

FAVC Jr. High Tourney

It's been a long week for me. On the mat and personally.

However, it was nice to officiate at my favorite place to attend. Last Saturday I was at Harrison Junior high to officiate the FAVC tournament and it was a blast as usual. You may wonder out of all the officiating I do why would this be my favorite to officiate. I'll tell you why.

  • Treatment-First the people treat you great and take care of you. It's the little things that we come to appreciate.
  • Food-The food is awesome. They do an great job with a fantastic selection and have plenty of it. (You knew food had to play a part).
  • Good wrestling-Jr. High yes. Good wrestling yes. The kids know what they're doing and it can get pretty intense out there
  • Efficient-They know how to run a smooth tournament and yes even the officials appreciate that.
For example this is always a two day tournament. But because of the weather they had to run it all on Saturday. Not only did they pull this off, but they did an outstanding job of it as well. Nice work McGraw!

Because of the five match rule they did something different so the 3rd place matches could be wrestled, all of the first round losers were eliminated. However, the first round losers were put into there own kind of tournament so they could wrestle their way back and win a T-shirt. Because they care and want what's best for the kids and the sport.

Right before the tournament started I ran into and old rival of mine on the football field who I'm now good friends with. It was good to see him. A couple hours later I happened to be officiating his son. His son did lose his first round match but did wrestle all the way back and won a shirt. It's all about the kids.

Nothing out of the ordinary for me on this day. Just hard nose wrestling. I will say that the Ross Rams brought hammer down on some kids and took the team title. Nice work guys. You deserved it!

Special Thanks to Christy Quincy for the pics!