My glory days of wrestling
|By Aaron Schultz|
With all the talk going on about the stoppage of high school wrestling in Minnesota due to an outbreak of herpes gladiatorum, I headed to Lester Prairie High School and talked with John Halverson.
Halve, as we all called him in high school, and still do, at least in my case, is a high school math teacher, and was also my wrestling coach, for as long as I could remember.
While my talk with him centered around the current issues with herpes, and everything that goes along with it, I couldn’t help but start reminiscing about the good old days on the mat.
Starting in first grade, right on through my senior year, I was a Bulldog wrestler.
From the beginning of my wrestling career right on to my final match, which I believe was in Annandale (but my memory is a little shady). Halve was there.
He saw all my ups and downs on the wrestling mat, and I have tons of fond memories of all my experiences.
Some of my early memories of wrestling started with heading up to Staples to compete in the youth wrestling tournament.
I have no idea how old I was, and while I can’t recall how I did in the tourney, I do remember having a blast in the hotel with my friends.
Moving on to varsity wrestling, I wrestled a little varsity as a eighth grader, and really didn’t excel at all.
Yeah, I sucked. I should have been wrestling at 119 pounds, but got beat out by a senior from Holy Trinity, so I had to move up to 125 pounds.
For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the wrestler, but I do remember wrestling him in practice a lot, and him helping me become a better wrestler.
I just know I’ll think of his name this week.
This brings us to my freshman season, and what was my second most successful year on the mat.
I had a very good year, as our team did.
Paired with Holy Trinity, we made it all the way to the section final four, where we finally lost out.
Personally, I had a very good record, and had a decent shot at making a state tournament run myself, but then a minor knee injury popped up the week before individual sections.
While it wouldn’t have been bad enough to keep me from wrestling, it didn’t allow me to run, which meant I couldn’t cut the weight I needed to get down to 125 season over!
That really got under my craw, and still bugs me to this day.
My sophomore season was a wasted year as I was very uncommitted, and just didn’t have much fun wrestling, so we’ll just skip ahead to my junior year.
This was, by far, my best year of wrestling, as I wrestled at 171 pounds, and was doing very well.
My record was something like 15-2 with a couple of big wins over some good wrestlers, and a tournament championship or two under my belt.
Then, at the Paynesville tournament, I got put on my back pretty hard, and something just didn’t feel right.
I continued to wrestle, finishing third in the tourney, but then it was off to the doctor Monday morning.
There is where I found out that I had broken my shoulder blade, and my season might just be over.
Well, luckily, I healed fast enough to compete in sections (both team and individual).
I was able to wrestle in the team competition, but had to withdraw from individuals when I could tell that my shoulder just wasn’t working right.
My senior year was a blast, but I took a step back as far as being good, and my career ended in sections.
Yep, my glory days of wrestling were a lot of fun, just not that much glory.