Yesterday was the Finn and Simon’s first wrestling tournament, and Becky and I couldn’t be more pleased with how well they did. Between the two, the Keenan family was five and one. Simon went 3-0 and placed first in his division–that being the ferocious six year old 48-pound novice class. Finn went 2-1, and he finished second in his group, that being the 105-pound midget class.
After a no-show, Simon had an impressive second round pin of a scrappy little youngster and then a 14 second pin in the third round to earn his hardware. Finn started with a first round pin, and then his second match might have been the most thrilling of the day. Finn and boy, who was evenly matched in size and aggression, wrestled scoreless into extra time, when Finn scored a two-point take-down for the win. Finn suffered a second period pin in the last round to take the second.
I didn’t know until Becky told me last night that the boy Finn lost to was wearing Team PA head gear, which means he wrestles for the state travel team. Finn wrestled well with the boy, and I wouldn’t surprised if he would win two or three if the two of them wrestled ten times, so, no shame in that game at all.
All in all, it was a banner day for us. Both boys put forth tremendous effort every time they hit the mat. I think that kind of goes without saying for Simon, who, at six and just beginning his second year, hasn’t gotten to the point where the sport is anything but fun.
We haven’t been able to take that for granted with Finn, however; like many elementary school aged boys and girls, he surely does like the notions of wins and awards, but sometimes he just doesn’t want to have to put himself out too much to get them. We’re hoping that some of Simon’s tenacity and drive rub off on him, and yesterday might be a good indication that that might be happening.
Those of you who have been around the wrestling world know just what a crazy day it is in those gyms. I saw thousands of interesting pieces of humanity yesterday. Yes, you see a few bad things, most of which surround parents communicating poorly with their children, but 99.something percent of it is good.
The random thing that I took the most from out of all of it was the five and six year olds who were losing but were still smiling and having just the grandest of times. We saw one little boy, this cat was straight up getting his clock cleaned, and he was just smiling to beat the band. Now that’s sport. That’s a reason to go.
One of the smiling boys was Simon’s best friend, Andrew Spatz. Andrew is six and in his first year. He lost all three of his matches yesterday, but man he seemed to be having just the fattest of times, and he didn’t get discouraged and he never gave up. Andrew’s brother, Ethan, who is eight and in his second year, also showed well. He scored a tech fall, while finishing 2-1 on the day, which earned him second place in his division.
We’re so close to so many of the children who participated, but we have a special friendship with Spatz boys and their family, which is why I mention them. Plus, it was just cool how that kid kept smiling. It wasn’t about winning and losing, it was about having fun and doing your best. I’m proud to say that these five boys did just that.
Please join me in praying for their health and safety through the season. If you aren’t much of a praying person, warm thoughts and well wishes are appreciated too.
Much love, beautiful people. Happy Monday.