This week three area wrestlers are getting a chance to test themselves against the best.
Desert Vista graduate Robbie Mathers and Thunder senior-to-be Alex Bambic are in Colorado Springs and working out at the Olympic Training Center.
Meanwhile, Ahwatukee resident and Corona del Sol junior-to-be Zach Walton is in Daytona Beach, Fla., this weekend as a member of the Arizona Cadet National Duals team, competing at 138 pounds.
In an individual sport like wrestling, you learn the most when you compete against some better than you and oftentimes even more when you lose.
These three will likely hold there own – well at least Walton as he competes against kids his age while Mathers and Bambic could take on anyone because the room at OTC houses the world’s best – and come back even better.
Anyway, point being, these opportunities as far as I know weren’t available when I was on the mat.
Maybe they were, but with no internet it was hard to know about opportunities.
When I was a high school wrestler the summer consisted of going to open tournaments each weekend. You’d show up, present you birth certificate, weigh-in, wrestle three or four matches (usually the same kids each week) and grab your medal and that was it.
We’d go to a couple of camps and get a t-shirt out of it, but what these athletes are presented with these days is unbelievable.
Now, let’s make it clear I had nowhere near the ability or drive these three kids do, but if I had similar opportunities maybe I would have reached the next level.
An old guy like me can only wonder, but wrestlers today have all of the opportunity in the world and knowing these three kids they will take full advantage.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.