Wrestling season is about to come to an end this weekend when the State Championships are held at the Casper Events Center.   My son Keegan began his wrestling journey when he was just three years old.  It has been an incredible journey with many life lessons along the way. Wrestling is the most character building sport I have ever witnessed. There are two wrestlers on a mat. All eyes are watching. There is one winner and one loser. Clearly defined. No team to back you up. Nothing to blame and no one to blame but yourself. Someone is always faster, stronger or maybe just wants it more. The heart of a wrestler is like nothing else. And  wrestlers have a respect for each other that is unlike any other sport. The support that wrestlers give each other is outstanding. I’ve watched my boys wrestle matches that were like a death to the finish and before they leave the mat, they hug their opponent – someone they most likely call a friend and say “great match.” Each ready to completely collapse with exhaustion but truly inspired by the others ability.

Keegan is now about to finish his high school career.  I have experienced a whole range of emotions already this year with Football season coming to a close and now more to come this weekend with his final high school event, State Wrestling.  As many of you already know, for the 2nd year in a row, Keegan took 1st at the 4A West Regionals.  That has seeded him 1st in the State Tournament as well.  The road to the championship is not going to be easy, but his years of hard work and dedication to sport will help him along the way.  We are sad but definitely excited for what is to come. After all, this is what he has been preparing for since he was 3 years old.

It is so hard for me to believe that he is a Senior in high school, weighing in at 170 lbs. It has been an amazing journey getting here. His shelves are cluttered with dozens of trophies, hundreds of medals hang on the wall, collections of wrestling shirts, singlets and shoes overflow his dressers and closet. We’ve collected brackets from where he took championships. All those wins and losses have been the journey to here. This is what he’s been working for for all these years. This weekend, Keegan will wrestle his final high school Varsity matches. I know how far he has come. I know he is prepared.  He is confident.  He is strong. He is mentally tough.  All things he deserves because of the hard work and dedication he has given to the sport.

I have been there to watch and record his story up to now. From that little boy that has always been so very passionate, to the wrestler that I watched stand on the podium last year as 3rd in the State. So much more happened during those 14 years than trophies and medals. There was confidence. There was belief. There was dedication and attitude. There was hard work and sweat. There was tenacity and hope. There were goals and aspirations. There were injuries and disappointments. There was the transformation of wrestling brothers as they worked their way up the weight classes together and practiced on each other in the basement for hours. There was the creation of a full blown wrestling mom. There was love of the sport and commitment to family.  There was my husband in the corner on the mat coaching his sons for all these years… but not this weekend – he’ll be sitting in the stands, watching what might possibly be the final matches of our son’s career. Go get ‘em Keegan…Mom and Dad love you and are proud of you today and always.

I invite you all to come out and watch one of the greatest sports of all time and support some fine young men (and a few young women as well) who work hard to keep the sport alive.

Schedule:

Friday, February 26:

9am: First Round

1:30pm: Quarter-Finals and First Round Consolation Matches

7pm: Semi-Finals

Saturday, February 27:

9am: Consolation Matches

2:30pm: 3rd and 5th Place Matches

5:15pm: Championship Matches