Yesterday was Jackson's first wrestling tournament. Jerry and Debbie were here for the weekend so they got to go with us. Nana kept Everett and Mia for us, which was a huge lifesave considering we were there for about 6 hours, not including 2 hours in the car. Jackson had to be in Huntsville at 11:45 and his age group was scheduled to begin at 12:30. We got there right on time, but the K-2nd graders were running an hour and a half behind schedule due to computer issues that morning. I don't think Jackson was quite prepared for what he saw when he walked into the gym. There were over 600 kids there and they had 6 mats set up for competition. He found some buddies and we found a seat in the bleachers with some friends. We really had no idea what to expect since this was our first time to ever be at a tournament, but we quickly found out that this was probably the biggest one we would attend all season. Most of these kids had been training since age 4, and some even before that. Jackson's weight class finally began and he was very nervous about his match. They have a giant projected chart on the wall that tells who wrestles on which mat and when. It was chaotic, to say the least, trying to keep up with who was supposed to be where. They wrestle 3 rounds, 1 minute each. There is a point system, but don't ask me anything about it because I have no idea. If they lose, they drop to the bottom bracket and wrestle again. 2 losses and they're done. Jackson was very intimidated (and not one to be the aggressor) and he got pinned before the first minute in that first match. His coaches were extremely encouraging, and told him to shake it off and to be glad he had his first match out of the way. They also told him to put it behind him and put his mind on his next match. He had a very good attitude about it, and watched his friends wrestle while he waited for his name to come up on the board again. He had a very tough opponent the next time around, but he did a lot better. He got pinned again this time, but was much improved over the first match. I was very proud that he wasn't too discouraged. He told us he's ready to get back to it next week. They have tournaments for the next 5 or 6 weekends in a row, so there are lots of opportunities for improvement. We finally left for home around 5:30, so it made for a long day, especially since we still had the hour long drive home, and BIG plans for that night!
Jackson and Hunter just hanging out before their class is called
The view from the top
Parker and Hayden played together for hours!
Watching the Class 2's finish up
Getting some pointers from one of the coaches
Jackson and Dawson after an exhausting day