Sun, Feb. 23

Coaches' corner: Mingus wrestlers battle modern day giants

Just as history tells of King David who faced a giant, our kids today face many giants in different forms of tests and trials.

It is no different as they are challenged with peer pressures of drugs, alcohol and various other temptations. That is why we open our wrestling room doors to provide a continuum of care all year round, while offering opportunities for youth to develop/sustain enriching and healthy lifestyle activities that will divert them from negative behaviors.

It is exhilarating to wrestle because contests are played in front of hundreds of friends, families and classmates. It’s a magical experience, even breath taking, when you’re out on the mat and you see all your team mates cheering you on. Building memories that one will never forget. To be a part of something bigger than themselves and to achieve victories that only a few ever get to experience. I have seen many kids abandon feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts, all because they find purpose and a sense of belonging.

No longer a slave to fear, Wrestling teaches them life success skills and a good work ethic. It motivates their determination and drive to succeed. It teaches them to be committed, reliable and dependable. That they must work and put forth effort in order to attain desired results. Wrestling, teaches them how to work in partnership, how to operate separately but together. There is so much mentoring from older peers to less experienced players which provide invaluable leadership skills. This helps them perform under high expectations at a young age which helps them get even more ready to shoulder heavier responsibilities in the future.

All of these are essential skills for the competitive workplace that they will one day serve. Their job at a young age should be to invest in themselves and build memories that will last a lifetime. Many do not understand that it is not about the victory that is important. It’s about the journey. The journey takes time, preparation and planning. Our program trains them for the rest of their life. It teaches them intensity, focus, discipline, goal setting, determination, perseverance, sacrifice and how to overcome challenges. These are the characteristics they need to be successful on the mat, in school and in the workplace. These are the traits that will help prepare them for whatever life will send their way.

At 195 pounds, Ryan “Gronk” Griffin competed in a battle of two highly dominant champions with very exciting styles. As his career has progressed, I am becoming more and more impressed with the incredible skills of Ryan Griffin. With his new gifted “funkmaster” style, Griffin has put opponents on their backs from various positions. Personally, I am very impressed with his “funk” and the scrambling abilities of Gronk - he just has that innate ability to create opportunities for himself that cannot be taught. If he continues his current dedication, he will be standing at the top of the podium at state.

At 126 pounds, Braden Arnold used his opponent’s forward momentum into slide-bys and arm drags. Braden has improved with leaps and bounds. He goes from one move into another, from tilts to turks. He has not placed at state and knows this will be his last opportunity to do so. What many are quickly realizing is that, individual records are mere rubbish, and past conquests are irrelevant. Your past does not define you, it is what you do today and tomorrow that defines you. He is putting in the time, work, effort and sacrifice needed for him to experience success. The future looks promising as this young man bounces back from adversity.

At 90 pounds, Noah Vega defeated everyone in his weight class for seven wins and no losses. He proves that hard work and dedication pays off in huge dividends. There are now many freshman grapplers participating in our off-season wrestling which can only produce many future champions. To be victorious one must have courage. This best describes Vega’s performance. He earns this week’s most improved.

At 145 pounds, Dathan Wimer shows that we all carry the seeds of greatness within us. When you gain a new perspective of yourself, you perceive endless opportunities that were only dimly visible before. Dathan Wimer proves that one must continue to fight even when things look bleak. One must have the fortitude to do whatever it takes even when the odds are against you. When things look their worst that is when the victorious step up. He also proves that we all have within us untapped strengths and powers that once accessed and coupled with proper training and coaching, can enable us to “battle” in any arena of choice. Although the record might not reflect it this week, he continues to come in and doesn’t quit. He has a goal and is working hard to one day attain it. He defeated kids that would have beaten him in the past.

At 120 pounds, the most notable match of the day had to be Keene Todacheene verses a state placer, it was absolutely unbelievable. He was totally confident in himself and the technique he has attained throughout the years under his coach. His hard work and efforts for the last three years, is a symbol of the quality of greatness of which “Mingus Marauders” are capable of achieving. His performance was not only inspirational but outstanding. Both kids did a fantastic job. In the end Todacheene came out the victor with a 2-1 score.

In the middle school division, Wesley Demille continues to impress many fans. Although a seventh grader he challenges high school wrestlers to improve. We are excited to have such an outstanding individual. Besides being a phenomenal wrestler, Wesley has great passion for the sport and should be a state placer this year. He is unbelievable in the neutral position and even tougher on top. The wrestling community is full of inspirational stories, but it would be hard to find an athlete that exhibits the courage and determination of Wesley Demille.

The Uhler boys, Racer and Rhett, continue to dominate in their respective weight classes. These boys when they came into this world were put into singlet’s. The rest is history. Many opposing coaches have commented on being impressed that these young boys are already performing highly advance moves at such a young age. Champions focus on consistent preparation and performance and know that all outcomes and results are natural by-products of strong commitments to a thorough, intense work ethic. That best describes the Uhler boys. One can only imagine their level of competition by the time they are in high school. The future of Mingus Marauder wrestling looks very promising.

Many thanks to Eric Jorgensen, Shane and Emily Ortega, 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 25, 2019:

Braden Arnold – 2nd place - 11th grade 126 pounds

Brody Townsend – 2nd place - 8th grade 100 pounds

Racer Uhler – 2nd place - 6th grade 85 pounds

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

Noah Vega – 1st place - 9th grade 90 pounds

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

Rhett Uhler – 1st place – 3rd grade – 69 pounds

Avery Hines – 3rd place – 9th grade – 220 pounds

Wesley Demille – 1st place – 7th grade – 154 pounds

Keene Todacheene – 1st place – 11th grade – 120 pounds

Ryan Griffin – 3rd place – 11th grade – 195 pounds.

Elias McKean – 1st place – 7th grade – 80 pounds

Max Ortega – 2nd place – 7th grade – 75 pounds

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