This is why wrestling appeals

It’s a dual between two evenly matched teams. A weight from each school forfeits. Decisions and falls are equal for each team, and the evening’s dual comes to to the last match, the score tied at 36-36.
I’m there catching photos of the athleticism, action going on two mats. But, for the final match, all the junior varsity activity on the mat has been completed.
A young athlete with a record scarcely 50-50 steps on the occupied mat to my right and faces an opponent that has a slightly better record and looks more than a match to the squarely built, muscled hopeful.
But, that young wrestler begins the match aggressively, going after take-downs, muscling out of potential holds, riding high on the taller opponent’s shoulders, bound and determined to be the difference.
Each wrestler has opportunities, and the decider goes into the third period, and that young wrestler who stepped on the mat, fired up and determined, found the hold that he was straining for and put his opponent’s shoulders to the mat.
When the referee’s hand slapped the mat signaling the win, the fans from his school erupted, and the tired winner’s shoulders squared. He’d made the difference.
This is why wrestling appeals, beyond the joy of seeing skilled student/athletes test their mettle, beyond the knowledge that winning is tough work, losing tougher. It’s also the moments in which an individual athlete’s training helps turn the tide.

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