We headed up to NE Wednesday after Ty was done with work. We got to Omaha and our hotel about 11:30/midnight. We headed up to bed and visited with my fam for a little bit. Wrestling started first thing Thursday morning.
Ike's draw in the bracket was great. He would have the hardest and most amazing matches of his life. First match was against a kid from Derek Stabenow from Elm Creek. This was the first time that Ike had faced this kid. We new it was going to be tough. This year at state, they added two mats equaling a total of 10 mats going at once. This is great for the speed of matches but it went too fast for us. They announced the match and it was time- it surprised Ike and the coaches! He handled it great- Ike went out there with the toughest mindset. He wrestled his best as soon as the whistle began the match. He ended up winning 10-2. (sigh of relief #1 for sister's and mom!)
His next match was later in the morning vs Aaron Jesperson from Hemmingford. This match was tougher then the first one. We had watched him wrestle his first match and new this kid was good. The few min, before the match we sat there watching Ike get his mind where it needed to be. Shelby and I were both sitting mat side with our bellies fluttering. As soon as this match began our hearts increased to a million miles per min. After about the first min, I looked at shelb who was a bit worried. She started having contractions. She's 26 weeks preg. The stress had finally gotten to her a bit. She only had a couple, but the match went the full 6 min.
Ike ended up winning by 1 point. We were OVER JOYED with the result. Looking to the next match brought an anxiety all its own. He would wrestle Carter Tegeler.
All season Tegeler sat on top of the ratings. He was thought to be one who would likely be winner or runner up at the state tournament. Between our talks we new the semi-final match between Ike and Tegeler would be the match of Isaac's life. We'd have to wait till Friday night to see this epic battle.
Ike was in good spirits the rest of the night and the next day. We had some hang time in the hotel for Rome to hang with the fam and open a few presents for his upcoming birthday. A tractor from Gpa and Gma and some sports balls from Uncle mike and aunt Shelby.
hanging with uncle Ike :)
Friday morning and afternoon came and went. As soon as we got to the quest for the evening session those familiar butterflies returned. Ike was called to on deck and our hearts quickly sped to that rapid speed of nervousness. Ikes match begin and I couldn't stay in my seat. I got to my knees and grabbed the rail ahead. I don't remember much about what I was cheering. I saw Ikes face before that match began. I saw determination and confidence that was so strong. I knew that Tegeler had never wrestled anyone like Isaac. Not only is Isaac and amazingly talented wrestler, but at that moment I knew that his heart was bigger then all his talent. (these pics are my FAVE!) Before I tell you the results, Let me say that I've been around wrestling for close to 25 years. I have watched this match a dozen times since Friday. This is one of my favorite matches of all time! Ike not only wrestled incredible he ended up defensively PINNING his opponent! This is so rare. I'll never forget seeing Chris and Dad (the coaches) burst from their seats with joy. Ike said he didn't even know at first that he had pinned Tegeler. He thought the period was over. Even though our seats were far from the mat Seeing Ike and the Coaches faces made me immediately start crying. He was going to go for the state championship.
Right away, Ike took control...
Look at all the elements of this pic- the coaches, Tegeler laying on the mat in disbelief:
Every year the championship matches begin with a goose bump- inducing tradition. The walk of the champions. Every wrestler going for first walks in line to Queens, "We are the Champions." Call me Naive but I didn't realize until college that this song wasn't originally intended for wrestling. It's the most honoring tradition I've ever seen. Seeing Ike walk this made me again immediately cry. During this song you can't help but think about all the work, all the sweat, all the prayers, that surround these athletes road to this place. Honestly, i've cried every time i've seen it. It was magnified this time because I actually KNEW someone in this walk!
Ike looked calm a collected as he waited to wrestle Theis from High Plains. He had wrestled him earlier in the season and had won. While at state, Theis demonstrated his talent in a whole new way. This wasn't the same wrestler that Ike had wrestled during the season. Ike knew this. As we watched him get in the zone and come out to face Theis our tummy's were flippin. He did GREAT! we watched him come out and take control. He wrestled amazing and beat Theis with a pin in the 2nd period. We cheered and cried. He DID IT!!
the fans :)
the wrestlers/coaches/and jay
The tradition of state is for the head coach to award the wreslter that gets first his medal. It was so sweet to see ike and dad!
Pics with the champ :)