There is crying in wrestling. Wrestlers push themselves to the limit physically, emotionally, and mentally. While at the Utah Youth Super State, a tournament for youth wrestlers from preschool to 9th grade, I saw plenty of tears. I saw wrestlers who have practiced day in and day out, who made weight, who didn’t make the weight they wanted, who overcame injuries, who faced fears, and who gave their all to the sport.
There were tears of pain because wrestling involves physical pain — there’s no denying that. There were tears of defeat when a match didn’t go the way they wanted it to. There were tears of victory when all that hard work finally paid off.
I am constantly amazed at how these young wrestlers fight through the pain, the defeat, the fears, and the challenges. From five year old wrestlers to fifteen year olds, we can learn a lot from the perseverance, strength, and grit these kids hold in their hearts.
The Grantsville Wrestling Club is chock full of these mighty youth wrestlers. With 142 wrestlers in the program this year, from preschool to 8th grade, this is a wrestling program that is dynamic and growing every year. The winter wrestling season begins in November and runs through mid-February with tournaments every weekend.
At the end of the season there are three big tournaments: Rec League State, Northern State, and Utah Youth Super State.
Rec League State, held on Jan. 21st, is a tournament for any wrestlers who have wrestled for two years or less. But don’t let that requirement fool you—this is a fierce competition with the best beginning wrestlers in Utah.
Grantsville had 15 wrestlers compete, and out of these 15 wrestlers, seven of them placed and took home medals. Each wrestler left it all on the mat. The wrestlers were: Rig Hearty (1 pin), Xander Smith, Jake Glenn, Lincoln Greenhalgh (3rd place, 3 pins), Preston Foster, Samuel Littledike (1 pin), Aiden Sandborn, Mason Flanary, Israel May (6th place, 1 pin), Rider Sullivan (3rd place, 1 pin), Garrett Allred, Rylee Gardner (2nd place, 1 pin), Andee Collier (3rd place), JaeCee Sullivan (3rd place, 2 pins), and Joscelyn Weisce (6th place).
Northern State, held on Jan. 27th-28th, is a tough championship tournament. The brackets are designed to really test wrestlers and what they are made of. Sometimes you might have a 4th grader wrestling a 6th grader or a 7th grader wrestling a 9th grader.
But the Grantsville wrestlers again showed they’re made of grit and strength with six wrestlers placing and all of the wrestlers giving their all. The wrestlers were: Cole Jenkins, Draeden Dong, Cache Hearty, Jackson Gardner (4th place, 5 pins), Aiden Sanborn, Samuel Littledike, Bradley Patino, Mark Jenkins, Boston Deros, Rylee Gardner (1st place, 1 pin), Andee Collier (5th place, 1 pin), Rider Sullivan (6th place, 1 pin), Owen Hunt, Zaiden Clark (6th place, 1 pin), and Lincoln Greenhalgh (2nd place).
The culminating competition of the season was Utah Youth Super State held Feb. 10-11 at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington. Grantsville had 19 wrestlers competing: Andee Collier (4th place, 3 pins), Rylee Gardner (5th place, 3 pins), Caroline Mecham (5th place, 1 pin), Jake Glenn (1 pin), Lincoln Greenhalgh (3rd place, 1 pin), Blake Gardner (1 pin), Cole Jenkins, Cache Hearty (6th place, 2 pins), Samuel Littledike, Bradley Patino, Boston Deros, Jackson Gardner (5th place), Mark Jenkins, Ryan Gardner (6th place, 1 pin), Brady Kuehn (6th place), Rider Sullivan, Mason Curtiss, Zaiden Clark (1 pin), and Bo Jensen. There was crying at Super State, and some of it was from me too.
Watching these kids work so hard, overcome so much, and find their inner warrior, the pride can’t help but leak from my eyes. And when you give your heart to something, there’s no shame in crying.