Team Georgia sent 2 teams to the schoolboy Duals in Indiana this year. Coming off the 2013 great finish at schoolboy the 2014 team knew they would have big shoes to fill. The important thing to remember is that the schoolboy venue is meant to be the starting point of something greater to come in the Cadet and Junior level. This event introduces most wrestlers to a high level of achievement. Most wrestlers that attend this event have already experienced National level travel but not so many teams in one arena. We knew going in that this team would be a young team and one that has great future potential.
They began getting ready on June 1 at the Pre-event camp held at Compound with Head Schoolboy Coach Lee Roper. The boys put in a grueling 2 days of sweat and sore guts from lots of hard work. Everyone attended the Camp! It was difficult to fill some areas of the team and we were fortunate to have many wrestlers agree to join us at the last minute.
The bus ride up on June 4th was filled with hungry boys and anxious feelings of the unknown. Most of this year’s competitors were 7th graders on their first round to the big show. Only 1 wrestler was returning from the previous year. After we arrived we got everybody weighed in and then on to Golden Corral where everybody ate too much!
The boys put in 4 days of hard wrestling. They experienced some great wins and many tough losses. Caden McCrary went All American in both Freestyle and Greco! Tyler Hunt also had an amazing tournament with many great last second victories. Overall the boys did what young boys entering their first National Duals Team event should do…they accepted the challenge. Nearly all these boys will have the opportunity to come back next season as 8th graders and with the crazy amount of great talent coming in from this year’s 7th grade group the future looks fantastic for the 2015 TGA Schoolboy Duals!
Thanks to Coaches Lee Roper (of The Compound), Jason McCrary, Jake Brumbelow (of Brewton Parker College), Nathan White (of Grovetown HS) and Schoolboy Director Scott Byers (of South Paulding) for putting together a successful Schoolboy Duals Trip. We also want to thank our Georgia referees Wolfgang Timbs and JD Rogers (freshman at Brewton parker) for traveling with us. We look forward to another great year in 2015.
Here is a letter we received from a parent following the trip. I left out the names (changed by italicized words) but wanted to share some gracious comments by this dad…
“Coach Roper and Coach Byers:
I just want to take a minute to thank you both, and the other coaches, for your leadership with the Schoolboy Duals Team. A simple thank you at the end of a long bus trip at nearly midnight does not seem a fitting expression of gratitude. I was very glad that HE was able to have such a great experience. From the camp prior to going to Indy and the four days of competition, he enjoyed the whole thing. Even though he did not get the results he would have liked, he did learn a great deal. He informed me the next trip my presence was required.... We talked about how it is necessary for him to learn how to be responsible for himself so that in life he does not become dependent on others to take care of him, and that he learns to stand on his own two feet. We often use his experiences from wrestling to talk about life.
My son and I "talked" about his wrestling and his experience over the course of the tournament, about how this is a beginning point for being ready to move onto the cadet and junior level of competition, about how Coach Roper said this was a really tough tournament and about how these are two styles of wrestling we just don't have the opportunity to practice much with such a short season. he really enjoys Greco, weird kid! I think he loves the fact it fits his body type, short and strong. He means it when he says he would like to compete in the Olympics, he is that passionate about wrestling. He absorbs it all.
In fact, last night we talked the whole way home, my son talked, I listened, about how he felt like he was just beginning to understand how to step up his game in freestyle and greco as the tournament was closing. At 12:45 am, when we got home, he had to show me in our living room the techniques he learned from the matches he wrestled and the matches he watched at the tournament. Already he was talking about next year.
I could go on and on, but I credit both of you and the other coaches for helping feed his passion. I am immensely grateful and appreciate your families for allowing you to take your time away from them to mentor my kid.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. “