Kayla's draw is what it is. Last year as a fourth place finisher out of the Regional she received a great draw. This year she gets a not so great draw. It could have been worse. She could have drawn into Hughes who has given Garcia his only lose. Kayla will go out and give her very best. If her best is good enough then so be it. If it is not good enough then she will shake hands and walk off of the mat with her head held high. Her identity goes much deeper than just that of being a high school wrestler. She works extremely hard. She balances wrestling (and all the pressures that come with it for her), making weight, a tough academic curriculum at one of the toughest academic institutions in the state, and is the President of Culver's Youth Group. She does all of this on her own at boarding school without her family at her side to support her. She has chosen this path because of the academics and leadership curriculum that Culver provides. She does not attend Culver for the wrestling. I am extremely proud of Kayla and the young lady that she is turning into. At the end of the day.....we have to remember that she wrestles during the winter to prepare for the summer. Kayla and the rest of the Miracle family are extremely grateful for all of the support that is given to her.
Her freshman year she went to Semistate, lost to Micic who eventually placed 3rd at State losing only to the eventual state champion Boston in a great 5-3 semifinals match. Her sophomore year she went to State and lost to Hayden Lee who eventually placed third losing only to eventual state champion Micic in the semifinals. If history repeats itself, when or if Kayla gets eliminated from the post season that person that eliminated her will go on to do very well.
The system is far from perfect in Indiana. People can say that you can put your fate in your own hands and let that be their argument for keeping things the way they are but, at the end of the day that person would be ignorant of the system and it's nuances. There are so many variables that come into play that cannot be controlled by a wrestler. Where does your family live? What school do you go to? What Sectional/Regional/Semistate do you go through? How many ranked wrestlers are in your Sectional/Regional/Semistate? What draw do you get? The styles of wrestlers that you will face and how they match up with yours. Snow days that give extra weight for a Sectional/Regional/Semistate may help or hurt you depending on your unique situation. Etc, Etc, Etc. The only real way that you can come close to fully controlling your fate is if you are the very best in your weight class by a long shot. Even then......control is an illusion.
So how do we improve the system? There are two ways that I can think of without totally overhauling the current system.
1. Wrestlebacks The main reason I am a fan of wrestlebacks is simply because the kids have earned them. We are talking about the hardest sport that requires the most dedication and sacrifice. We as the adults should provide the most thorough way possible to ensure that the kids that deserve to go on to the next level do. Yes it may take a little more time. Yes it may cost a little more money. At the end of the day it is our responsibility. If you don't agree with that then perhaps you would like to change positions with the wrestler and be the one working your tail off day in and day out in the wrestling room, cutting weight, doing the extra runs, etc. Expecting that the adults have your back and are going to do what is right for you. That they care more about you than they do their own agendas. Our job as the adults in the wrestling community is to make sure that the kids, the sanctity/wholesomeness of the sport, and competition series is held in the highest regard. The kids job is to train and compete. When either side is not doing its job we are degrading the greatest sport on earth.
2. Improve the draw system When we have the random draw to decide which Regional you will be bracketed with at Semistate there are controls that we could put into place that would improve the current system greatly. A computer program could easily make the random draw happen with implemented controls that have been built into the software that would greatly maximize the odds that the best wrestlers are going to move on to State. One tweak that would improve the whole current draw system would be to implement a control that considers the ranking of the individuals and places them accordingly after the random draw criteria. In simple terms you would have another level of criteria after the random draw. You would need multiple levels or tie breaker controls built into the software to handle the "what ifs". This would improve the system but, would create some other problems that would need resolving. The rankings would now be important. They would no longer be just for fun. Criteria for rankings would have to be implemented and the rankings would have to be governed. On a positive note schools that wrestle weak schedules would have to attempt to strengthen their schedule so that their deserving kids could face ranked kids and become ranked themselves. I know that this idea would be tough to swallow for many because it involves computers, software, and possibly algorithms that most people (including me) don't fully understand. If you want to make things better though you have to start thinking outside the box and not be buried in the past. The mantra of “This is how we have always done it” is the worst mantra in history. It breeds complacency, encourages laziness, and leads greatness to mediocrity. We have the technology.....we just have not chosen to use it yet.