Final Seconds

The buzzer sounded, and the score was 5-7. I had done it. I had won, which put me into the finals. I was so excited and proud that all the work that I had put in had been worth it.
On an early Saturday morning in the cold month of January, I woke up at five o’clock in the morning. I am a wrestler and have done this many times before for tournaments. This was a big tournament for my team, and we were going to be wrestling with schools that are in a higher division than we. We all loaded the bus like a bunch of half dead zombies, longing for a blanket and pillow. After a long bus ride to Celina, I was ready to get the wrestling started.
I started out the tournament really well by winning my first three matches. Pumped and excited, I readied myself for my next match. It was time for my best match yet, and I was feeling confident that I could beat anyone that I faced. Time seemed to go by so slowly as I waited to hear my name to be called to begin warming up. Looking around, I tried to find the person I might be facing. In the corner of the gym, I saw a wrestler from Celina warming up with his whole team around him watching. I thought to myself, ‘That person must be really good.’ Then I heard over the P.A. system my name to get warmed up on mat two and for my opponent to get warmed up.

I moved over to mat two and look to see who else had also made his way over. Sure enough it was the wrestler I had seen in the corner. All his teammates also made their way over. I told myself right then and there, ‘I can beat this guy. I have worked so hard and pushed myself every day to be ready for this match.’ I tried not to think about my opponent anymore after that; I focused in on what I had to do for this match.

After what had seemed years of warming up, it was finally time for me to wrestle the hometown favorite in his gym. The crowed roared when he stepped on the mat for the match to begin. The official made us shake hands, and he blew his whistle, starting the match. We began the match slowly. We both just circled one another, looking for an open to shot. Finally, I went for it. I shot in deep for a leg, but he was ready for it and sprawled back. I had come up empty. Then he took his try at my legs, but I defended them well, leaving him unsuccessful at his takedown. He tried again, and I wasn’t as good at defending this time. He took me down to end the first period.

I had won the coin flip, so I had the choice of top, bottom, neutral, or defer. I choose to defer till the third period, and my opponent choose to go down. ‘Just need to hold him down and get some back points,’ I thought to myself. I didn’t execute that plan very well. I let him get a reversal, but I was able to get an escape late in the second period. At the end of the second period, the score was 4-1.

It was now my choice, and I choose to go down, knowing that I could get and escape and take him down. I tried and tried to escape, but I just couldn’t quite get it. Then finally I decided to go for the reversal. I hit a switch perfectly, and I was able to get two points, making it 4-2. I knew that getting him to his back was going to be hard because he was going to stall. With twenty seconds left on the clock, I glanced over at my coaches, and they were telling me to let him up. I did, but I also gave up a point, putting down me 5-2. I knew that I had to push as hard as I could to get a take down. I could hear my coaches and everyone else yelling, “Shoot!” and “Go for it!” I tied up with him with ten seconds left. He tried to push me out of bounds, but with a quick decision, I threw myself backwards. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as he went flying through the air, and I turned my body. Everyone in the gym seemed to hold their breaths. He landed on his back and out of bounds, but I was able to land on top of him with my toes in bounds. I looked up at the referee and time was standing still as I slowly saw him signal two points, and I heard the crowed give out a loud roar. Then the referee went down on the mat and started to count back points. I looked at my coaches and they both were out of their seats, telling me to stay put. At that moment I had the sweet taste of victory in my mouth. The referee counted to five, giving me three more points.

I went back to the middle of the mat to shake my opponent’s hand. The referee raised my hand in victory. It seemed as everyone in the gym was on their feet applauding for the great battle.

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