The Aloha State Games tournament was a great learning experience for the club. Somone said you learn more from losing then winning, if that is true we learned a lot! Coach Mac asked the team for one thing at the last practice, he asked the team to show one thing that they learned from him. That one thing was good sportsmanship. The Westside Wrestlers definitely demonstrated good sportsmanship. Despite suffering close losses, or real beatings they always shook hands with their opponent and his coach and never complained. Even in the matches they won they acted like they did it before, and patted the loser on the back. When Sean Holzman pinned his opponent from the Hickam Blue Devil team the seven year old was crying and taking it hard. Sean made friends with the boy and really cheered him up!
Check out the link below to the article in the Garden Island, it gives a good summary of the tournament. Some other things not in the article should be mentioned. First of all, the effort of the 8 youth wrestlers was great! They went up against opponents with plenty of tournament experience, after just a couple months learning basic skills.It should also be noted that most of the guys were wrestling up, that is they wrestled opponents heavier as opposed to lighter then them. It was a learning experience for the coaches as well, the other team coaches were more experienced at the pairing meetings, putting their wrestlers aginst ours with a weight advantage in many cases. Besides the description of Sean and John Paul's performance in the article, all of the other boys also had very good efforts. Daniel Quinlan looked tough, I heard someone ask what high school he wrestles for. Daniel was in every one of his matches. David Greenslade fought hard and showed his own style, never backing down. The other 2 Joyce brothers PJ and David Allen looked tough and will be looking for revenge in August. Cory Howatt and Matthew Holzman ended up wrestling each other in their second matches. They wrestle each other in practice all the time, so they knew each others style. Matthew and Cory had a back and forth battle with Matthew dominating the first round almost pinning Cory, in the second period Cory came back with a counter to Matthews attempted throw and got the pin. Brandon Livingston showed his ability to win, if he just works a little more on his conditioning he will be the man to beat in the heavy weight division. Team Captain Jojo Utrillo was really taking it to a heavier opponent, he was clearly winning until his leg collapsed beneath him. He had to withdraw after that injury and unfortunately looks doubtful for August. Jojo did hobble to practice on Sunday and worked with the kids, he is a great team leader. Coach Mac wrestled 5 hard matches, he was so close to victory in one it was down to the last seconds. Coach Mac got the usual comments about competiting against the best 18 and 19 year olds in the State "at his age"!
The USAW officials have agreed to sanction our tournament Saturday August 27. They will bring the referee's and staff to run Kauai's first ever wrestling tournament. As the tournament host, Westside Wrestling will be working hard to make this historic event a great experience for all. We hope for a big turnout of wrestlers and spectators.
See article in Garden Island