Edwards collects 11 medals at Titan Tournament

Twelve Bridges wrestling event
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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Wrestling is a great way for student/athletes to participate in a sport where even the novice gets a chance to compete. Events like the Titan Tournament held at Twelve Bridges Middle School, Jan. 6, give each wrestler a chance to test his or her skills against those of the same weight and skill level. Attending were teams from Granite Oaks, Eldorado Hills, Sylvan, Olympus, Buljan, Glen Edwards, and Twelve Bridges. Three separate mats were laid out on the gymnasium floor where the matches took place. The tournament was set up in round robin pools where four wrestlers were matched against others of comparable size and experience. Each wrestler wore a colored ankle wrap for identification and scoring during each contest. Glen Edwards took 25 wrestlers to the tournament, 14 of whom had never competed before. When the event was over, the Panthers had collected 11 medals. “This is my first year,” said Glen Edwards’ Jeffery Jones, who came away with a gold medal in the junior varsity class. “I wanted to go undefeated, and not get pinned.” Jones said he got into the sport on the suggestion of friends, and also to stay in shape for football. He now feels he will continue wrestling when he reaches high school. Glen Edwards head coach Kirby Desha said, although wrestling is a team sport, it focuses on individual achievement. He said it is much like swimming, track, or gymnastics as to its attraction for athletes. “You are always competing against your own goals,” Desha said. “Can I execute a takedown? Can I get a pin? Or, for beginners, can I avoid getting pinned?” Desha added that like any sport, the ones who put in the extra time are the ones that rise to the top. Although the results of Twelve Bridges’ team was not yet in, one of its novice wrestlers took some time out to explain his attraction to wrestling. “Since my dad did it when he was a kid, I wanted to do it,” said sixth grader Mark MacDonald in describing his experience during the tournament. “You have to take them down and get points. It’s the one who gets points and doesn’t get pinned.” A great deal of credit has to go to Twelve Bridges and its wrestling coach Blaine Eslinger for staging the event. It was an all-day affair with fans filling the stands for most of the day. A snack bar and coaches hospitality room were also provided for what should become an annual event. Titan Wrestling Tournament Twelve Bridges Middle School Results: Glen Edwards Middle School Varsity Medals Silver – Anthony Rocha, Austin Swett Bronze – Ikaika Loque Junior Varsity Medals Gold – Kyle Smolich, Wyatt Lee, Daniel White, Jeffery Jones Silver – Enrique Sandoval, Sabrina Desha, Miguel Magana Bronze – Thomas Fast