Monday, March 6, 2023

All Wrestled Out!

 Last month was John's final month of high school wrestling. And it was a good one! It started with Senior Night, which was his last home meet, and ended with competing at All-States. He made his goal by qualifying for All-States (which is all the top-ranked wrestlers in the state of Massachusetts). Another notable accomplishment of John's season is that he didn't get pinned once in a single match the entire season, even against some top-ranked wrestlers who weren't able to pin him. I think he's the only person on his team who never got pinned. πŸ™Œ

The captains helped out with the middle school team throughout the season, which Sam is on, so that was neat that the bros got to do that together. John helped referee a team scrimmage they had against each other. Here he is in action...

And here are Sam and Rocco wrestling each other! They're cousins, so this was fun. 

Rocco won!

I snapped this picture because Sam and Jack were sitting next to each other. Jack is the son of one of my good friends from high school, Bonnie. It was fun sitting with her at some of their meets. This is one of the things I love about living in my hometown again! #hallmarkmoments πŸ˜„

On the day of Senior Night, the team dressed up for school. John's used to dressing up for church and he looked nice.

Senior Night! Here were the captains' banners.

No smiling for tough guys. 😐 LOL

Warming up before the meet. John is all the way on the left. It was John's last home meet and the last regular meet of the season, so it was a little bittersweet!

The five captains are in the middle.

Team huddle--the last one 😭

 A rare family picture of us, and likely one of the last. There's a better quality one that the photographer took but I haven't gotten it yet. Each of the families of the seniors gets announced and goes up for pictures on Senior Night.

I wish I'd realized that my sweater was stuck above, well, my boob! πŸ˜… Ugh! I hate it when that happens!

This is my friend Jen and her son Adam, who is good friends with John. I sat with Jen and her husband Steve at a lot of the meets. Jen graduated from Hopkinton High three years before me, but we didn't know each other back then. 

This is Justin's family. He and his two brothers (one of them wasn't there that night because he was away at college) were all wrestling and football captains at HHS. His brother Josh on the end made it into the NFL this past year and is on the roster for the Minnesota Vikings. Pretty cool!

The captain meet-up right before the match began. We had five and they only had one!

John won his match with a pin. He was the only senior to get a pin that night.

Some of our friends from church came to watch and it was fun to have them there. Even more so because John won. πŸ˜‰

I'm going to miss high school wrestling next year when I don't have a high schooler. I hope that Sam will follow in John's footsteps. He joined the middle school team this year and he liked it and is planning to continue. πŸ˜ƒ

 This is the seniors and the coaches and team manager. They are a great group.

John's picture was in the town paper in this article about the team captains.
His shoes were falling apart as you can see in the picture, which I was unaware of until that night!

John and Adam at Sectionals

Look at how cute they were in 8th grade! And still are, 4-5 years later!

John won two and lost two at Sectionals and came in fourth place in his weight class, qualifying for States the next weekend. The top four go on to States with the fifth place finisher as an alternate. 

Jack, John, and Adam are good friends and have a lot of fun together.

This picture reminds me of when he was a little boy. πŸ’™

The following weekend was States, also (more accurately) known as Divisionals. There are three divisions in Massachusetts for wrestling.

John did really well on Day 1 and won both of his matches, which automatically qualified him for All-States! He was so excited!

On Day 2 he lost his matches but it didn't matter that much since he'd already qualified for All-States.

John came in 6th in his weight class at States, and the top six progress to All-States, so he made it!

John and Justin were the only ones to progress to All-States. Adam almost made it and we were sad that he didn't.

Finally, it was All-States the following weekend. It was very crowded and I was lucky to get a seat at the very top of the bleachers with the guys from the team who were there and one of the other parents.

John wrestled well against two really good guys but he lost both of his matches and didn't progress past Day 1. He was disappointed and sad that his high school wrestling career was officially done, but he was happy with his season overall and how far he made it. 

This turned out to be his last match of high school. 

I got him this shirt.

I'm going to miss high school wrestling for John. It's been a fun journey. But I'm also kind of glad that this season is over and he can go back to eating normally again. No more hangriness, which was his not-too-infrequent bad mood throughout the season from cutting weight and being hungry. He made the choice to wrestle at 126 this season even though his natural weight was closer to 140, so he had to maintain a weight that was about 12-14 pounds below his actual weight for three months. I didn't support this but there was no convincing him! Once the season ended, he gained 20 pounds in a week and has been relishing being able to eat whatever he wants again! The sacrifice was worth it to him, and it's his life, so it's fine. I'm proud of his hard work and dedication and all of the progress he's made over the years.

His next step in the sport will be NCAA Division III wrestling at the University of Southern Virginia in the fall! 
I hope he loves it and that it will be a great experience for him!