Domination on the Mats

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Throughout the mat-filled gym, clicking headgear, slamming bodies, and loud cheering echoes. Anticipating the first series of matches, a quick jog around the gym begins for us, the wrestling team. Group stretches, key to any wrestling tournament we go to, begin in a circle as the Pilots talk about the seriousness of the upcoming matches. Soon, we partner up, and quick, calculated moves are being executed, proving that we are here strictly for business. A shrieking buzzer goes off, and we know it’s time to begin our hard fought victory.

First up are the 103-pound wrestlers; speed dominates this group of hardy wrestlers, as they go non-stop after each other, trying to hook a leg to topple their opponents. All of the available wrestlers on our team gather around the mat to cheer on our small but talented 103-pound wrestler. Throughout the match screams can be hear like “Single to Double,” “Hook the legs,” and other commands. Takedowns, reversals, and escapes continue throughout the match as both wrestlers struggle to maintain a position on top of the other. In the second period, our wrestler finally manages to pin his opponent, as the rest of the team cheers and claps for him. When the 112-pound weight class is ready to hit the mats, “Let’s go, Cade!” rumbles from the stands in a loud and somewhat childish voice. Cade, our best wrestler, is amazing and almost always ends up winning. Everyone stares in awe as Cade destroys the other wrestlers in his weight class until finally he places first. Soon, I start to hear jeering cries: “Come on, Tugboat!” and “You can do it, Tugboat.” That’s when I know it’s time for the 140-pound weight class. During the first period, our wrestler gets off to a rocky start by getting taken down with thirty seconds left but does his famous scramble by rolling over his shoulder until he can get out from under his opponent. At the second period, he chooses the down position, and when the whistle is blown, he immediately hits an elbow roll. Rolling underneath his opponent, he gets on top and manages to pin his guy with one-minute left in the period.

Not too long later, one of my favorite weight classes, the 171-pound weight class, is finally ready to take the mat. Now the 171-pound wrestlers strap on their headgear and step into the center of their mats, ready to dominate the competition. Stepping onto the mat, our wrestler flexes and smiles, intimidating his opponent, while smiling, showing his confidence. Laughing mockingly, the rest of our team yells, “1.2 is up to you,” knowing that will get him mad enough to wrestle his best. To start off the match, our wrestler starts by pushing his opponent around, grabbing and pulling him closer to the mat. When his opponent finally hits the mat, he wastes no time getting his infamous gator roll move locked in. Utilizing his move, he grabs his opponent’s neck and rolls over hard until he lands on top. Now, it’s just an easy win after applying pressure to the body and forcing his opponent’s shoulders to the mat.

After awhile, it’s finally time for the 215-pound weight class to step up to the mat; this is my weight class. My match is against the a 215-pound wrestler, who may look big, but everyone says he’s an easy win. Thoughts race through my head: “Don’t worry. You know what you’re doing,” and “Just do your best.” I step onto the mat. Staring hard at my opponent, I shake his hand and prepare myself to win this match. I hear the whistle blow and start moving around the mat cautiously, waiting for an opening to grab him. Finally, as he goes to adjust his headgear, I slide behind him and grab him around his waist. I lock my feet on his heels and pull him over backwards onto the mat. Landing on top, I push his legs apart and drive him forward, putting him on his back. Using my legs, I roll him onto his back with my body on top of his. With my body on top, I finally pin him to the mat and win the match.

This continues throughout the rest of the weight classes, until finally the heavyweight division begins. Amazing strength and size can be seen throughout the group, as the heavyweights are ready to wrestle. My team's heavyweight steps on to the mat with excitement and determination in his eyes ready to capture a win for the team. Both heavyweights stand in the middle and shake hands, knowing that a hard match is now upon them. Testing each other, they both begin to tug and pull on each other, seeing if they can easily toss their opponent around. The heavyweight from my school soon executes a flawless duck under and grabs his opponent from behind. With his new grip, he lifts up his opponent and dunks his body down to the mat and gets right behind him. Holding up two fingers, the referee awards our team two points for the takedown. Utilizing his new position, he grabs his opponent’s hand and pushes the guy’s arm while pulling on his lower body. This technique forces the body of the opponent to lay flat, giving the heavyweight the ability to overturn his opponent. Now that the opponent is overturned, the opponent finally gets pinned, and the crowd busts into mixed sounds of cheers and groans. At the end of the eventful day, my team was able to finish with a few first place winners and many other winners from the different weight classes.





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