Mon, Jan. 20

Coaches' corner: Mingus wrestlers working hard in Weekend Wars

It’s great to be back in a championship environment and exciting to see all of the boys working hard. This is where it all starts.

The off-season program is definitely the building block to what we believe, will propel us forward to a championship season. We accomplished some great things last year just by having a couple of Sectional placers, but at the same time we’re not satisfied, especially when we think about all our past triumphs.

We know we have the potential to be a State contender and so we want to continue to build where we left off and the off-season program is the start of that. The synergy is contagious right now. Everyone is very positive and with anticipation we will continue to build from that.

At 182 pounds, Conrad “The Assassin” Brady doesn’t wrestle fundamentally, he’s so long and fast, he does things that most normal people can’t do. You don’t change that when you’ve got a kid like him.

In one of his epic matches he owned a 1-0 lead after two periods. Then the war was on with his opponent choosing bottom. It was non-stop stand ups, switches, Granbys, you name it and that stud was attempting to escape or conquer a reversal. Conrad hung on to the end and earned the victory. The crowd went crazy cheering them on. It was an awesome match.

At 145 pounds, if one wrestler personifies the word intimidation, it is two time State Champion – Korben “Crazy Legs” Uhler. Relentlessly intense and punishing, Korben is on an entirely different level than most in his weight class. He has been training since the age of five and has placed at various National Tournaments. He tasted defeat just once in his high school career, as a freshman due to an illness but came back and took State that same year.

An unexpected loss can have vastly different effects on a wrestler. For some, it can destroy confidence. For others, it brings them to a higher level of focus and intensity which best describes Korben “Crazy Legs” Uhler. He crushed all challengers in his weight class.

At 100 pounds, Brody Townsend is a sought after target at Weekend Wars. Very few Wrestlers ever become as technically polished as Townsend who continues to produce highly intense matches against formidable opponents. He will begin his freshman year as a two time Middle School State Champion and a ten time National Champion. His goal is to become a member of that mega-exclusive undefeated four-time state champions club. There are many that come to take a turn at attempting to dethrone the 2x State Champion. Though many at his weight class have tried, they all failed, but produced some of the best highlighted matches for the day. The bouts are filled with intensity and fierce competition. His mastery at tilts and takedowns plays a crucial role against those who were bigger and heavier than himself.

At 170 pounds, Tyler Griffin’s two month long journey at lifting weights and doing Plyometrics, is paying off in huge dividends. He is stronger, faster and more agile than before. Mingus’ tough off-season schedule, coupled with Weekend Wars pressure filled environment with top notch caliber wrestlers and the technical training in the Mingus room, is propelling Tyler into what many would consider the making of a thoroughbred stud.

His determination acts as a catalyst towards accepting all levels of rivalry, bigger and more experienced competition, demonstrating he has ice water in his veins, lacking fear of all challengers. His intellectual prowess, attitude and commitment have helped him quickly learn moves that generally take someone two years to attain. He proves that, Winners never quit and that it takes dedication to be on top.

At 120 ponds, Keene Todacheene also put on an exceptional show, defeating a top contender from up North. Keene is always involved in some form of competition. He’s a guy who works year round. He has wrestled at five different National tournaments this year and earned the privilege to represent Arizona, at this year’s Fargo Freestyle Nationals. In addition he shares his pearls of wisdom and helps train all Mingus kids willing to learn. He’s always competing and putting it on the line. That more than anything else, has made him a special person. Todacheene’s desire to improve has always impressed me. He’s constantly finding ways to try to make himself better. He also defeated all challengers for the day.

At 152 pounds, Dathan Wimer has recently turned into a machine. Something finally clicked upstairs and he has decided to stop doubting. He has learned that if you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going to win. He now avoids negative thoughts from circulating his mind. In this sport 80 percent of it is mental. Success will only come with a positive mental attitude. In one of his recent matches when his back was against the wall, he kicked it up another level and really dug deep to earn the victory. It was an exciting moment for us coaches and his peers who stood up and gave him a standing ovation.

In the middle school division, Elias McKean and Racer Uhler shined throughout the tourney, taking second and first place in their respective weight classes. Off-season training enables them to obtain the pearls of wisdom, to empower themselves to surpass those remaining stagnate. This enhances their odds of becoming a fearsome superior warrior, a conqueror, a force to be reckoned with, commanding respect, while domineering their adversaries and emerging victorious. They now have the confidence to believe in themselves, to believe that one-day they will also stand on top of the podium at state one day.

In the elementary division, Maple Ogle continues to go undefeated. She has elevated her game by relentlessly attacking her opponents. Her coach and father has done a remarkable job teaching her advance techniques for her age group, thus giving her the advantage she needs to be successful. She has dedicated herself to fulfilling her passion. Overcoming numerous obstacles, Maple now focuses all her abilities and activities on achieving her dream of becoming one of the greats just like her relatives.

Coach Joel Lobaugh, a former champion of Camp Verde, has joined us to become a mentor for other youth and has refocused his energy back into community programs. “Serving others - giving back what you have been given. That’s where true joy can be found: in the service of others while forgetting yourself.”

He has put his gifting, talent and determination to use by becoming a co-facilitator of our technical skills program and a coach amongst youth at risk. I am grateful for his offered assistance and words of support. It will help provide these kids with new opportunities, new experiences and open new doors. Joel, can take with him the knowledge that he will help fulfill a common goal and a common dream that will enrich many lives.

These next three individuals have distinguished themselves by contributing to the community and demonstrating exemplary leadership. The Woman of Distinction Award is presented to exceptional young women who demonstrate leadership, kindness, hospitality, maturity and compassion, through their commitment to a cause. They give unselfishly of themselves far beyond what is expected and do so without seeking recognition. The recipients are, Mrs. Jen Griffin, Mrs. Jocelyn Brady and Mrs. Bethany Arnold. The award should read “Angel Unaware,” for I believe they are God sent. They have been key members of the program helping with coordinating and planning tasks for Mingus wrestling events.

They have played a major role in fundraising for the organization, providing food and snacks for when we compete, mopping mats, working Weekend Wars registration tables and accommodating those who are financially less fortunate. Their combined efforts have served over 400 kids this year. They helped change many lives for the best with their endless devotion to help others quality of life rise. These young ladies that I speak so highly of should be an example to us all! They show us all that we not need to be great only once and a while, but that we should rather be extraordinary all the time. Lord bless those Sisters!

I can’t say enough good things about our beloved head coach, Klint McKean. It takes a special individual to merge new people into the program. A great leader has to become a cooler of sorts, dealing with people’s; resistance to change, fear of the unknown, lack of support, lack of confidence, confusion and frustration. However thus far, Brother McKean is doing a great job, capitalizing on all the skills that each member brings to the table. He is quick to eliminate any issues that might become a significant problem.

He inspires everyone to step out of their comfort zones and accept new ones. He has an innate drive to achieve, which will help us over the long haul of maintaining a successful program for years to come. I am confident we will continue to build on this model of cooperation and understanding, as we all focus on our mission of providing, high-quality mentorship to improve the marketability of our students and the community they serve.

Many thanks to Eric Jorgensen, Rudy Galaviz from Flag Tee Factory t shirt, Mrs. Jen Griffin, Mrs. Bethany Arnold, Gabriel Chagolla, The Bugle, Mingus Union High School District, Kim Andrews from Bashas’, Salt River Materials Group (Phoenix Cement), The Bassous Family from Tierra Verde Builders, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Aaron Hancock of, Rose Smith of Bob’s Tree and Landscaping, and most importantly the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tournament results for May 11, 2019

Elias McKean – 2nd place 7th grade 80 pounds

Braden Arnold – 3rd place - 11th grade 126 pounds

Maple Ogle – 1st place – 1st grade 60 pounds

Brody Townsend – 1st place - 8th grade 100 pounds

Racer Uhler – 1st place - 6th grade 85 pounds

Tyler Griffin – 3rd place - 10th grade 182 pounds

Noah Vega – 3 rd place - 9th grade 90 pounds

Dathan Wimer – 3rd place – 9th grade 145 pounds

Conrad Brady – 1st place – 10th grade 175 pounds

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