Wrestling is a sport that can easily humble someone. This weekend I was quite humbled by what this little tournament has become. Four years ago we started this tournament with 171 wrestlers. In all honesty, I was very close to cancelling the event due to low entries. We started with four mats and some awesome matchesâ€¦.I was in awe of the talent there at the time. Of course that was four years ago and if you would have told me we would have 120+ state placers and qualifiers battling it out on 12 mats I would have laughed.
This event has grown into more than a Super 32 qualifier. It is an annual pilgrimage to the Fort Wayne area for some great wrestling action in September. Think about that, 586 wrestlers coming to Fort Wayne to wrestleâ€¦IN SEPTEMBER!
Obviously there are many, many, many people to thank for help in what this event has become.
The referees: We had an awesome group yet again and they did a great job making all the right callsâ€¦well from my point of view.
College coaches: Thanks to all those that came this way to see the great wrestling going on. It is a privilege to be able to host this event and hope to see many of the IHPO wrestlers on college rosters soon.
Paul Tincher and Steve Asa: They were there for a big portion of the day taking photos. Look for them to be posted soon on Facebook.
Mark Durham, Pat Culp, and Kyle Keith: The Trackwrestling gurus made my life a lot easier this year. Even when we had our unscheduled intermission they had us back up extremely quickly. They have ran more tournaments that I can even dream of and deserve a ton of credit for how smoothly it ran.
Steve Saxlund and Todd Fuller of 3x Gear: These guys are first class all the way and came all the way from Fargo to set up shop. Their gear was sick to say the least. They will definitely be a permanent fixture at the IHPO.
Scott Raypole: Another person who does a ton of work for this event. He does a ton of behind the scenes and organizational things that no one notices. As with the others, without him it would be extremely difficult to pull this off without him.
Carroll parents and wrestlers: To say this is an awesome group of people is an understatement. They come in droves asking how they can help. The wrestlers and parents had 12 mats laid down in 2.5 hours on Saturdayâ€¦even when a few of the kids were a tad hungry. As on the wrestling mat these people always rise to the occasion.
Dan Ginder: The Carroll Athletic Director is absolutely awesome. He lets us use these first class facilities for this great event. He even came in this morning to help get the bouts on the TVs working better. As with everything at Carroll he is first class all the way.
Trine wrestlers: The thankless job of being a tableworker with two restroom breaks and given a couple waters and small sandwich during the 10 hours. They did a great job even with some hiccups during the day. I can say there were no complaints from the kids or any coaches/wrestlers.
Mark Snyder: He is one that has been there since the beginning and is an awesome concession manager. It is great when I have absolutely no worries when it comes to that area.
Lastly, but definitely not least my wrestling tournament assistant director Alexis. Six years ago she had never even been to a wrestling match and now she is a tournament queen. As with other areas in life she keeps me in line and keeps me organized. Much of the smoothness of the weigh-ins can be attributed to her.
Wellâ€¦one last thanks, that is to all the coaches, wrestlers and fans who came to the event. Without you guys it wouldnâ€™t be what it is today. If you have any suggestions please donâ€™t hesitate to send them my way. We always take them into consideration when planning for next year.