Saturday, February 02, 2008
Why is this young man's hair mussed?
This is my younger son, Adam, age 15, in a photo snapped earlier today. Adam's a freshman at Bellaire High School here in Houston. On Saturdays, it's not uncommon for his hair to be mussed. But the reason his hair is mussed in this particular way on this particular day is pretty cool, in my admittedly biased opinion.
The first picture in this series showed a particular species of "hat-hair" that may be called "wrestler's headgear hair." But below is a full-length photo of Adam taken in his headgear and his Cardinals-red and black singlet, just before his last bout today at the Butler Fieldhouse, site of the 2008 wrestling competition for District 23, which includes Bellaire High School.
My older daughter Sarah, a Bellaire High School junior, also lettered on the wrestling team last year, and although this year she's been concentrating on French and drama, Sarah (shown below) is still among the team's most devoted and enthusiastic fans:
Also present for the day to root for Adam and his teammates, pictured below during one of the many moments of downtime inherent in such competitions, were my older son, Kevin (now a sophomore at the University of Houston), and my younger daughter, Molly (someday to be part of the BHS Class of 2013, but for now a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School, where she plays soccer). My ex (not pictured) finished with her Saturday patients in time to join us in watching Adam's final match, so Adam's entire family was there for him today.
In the earlier photo of Sarah, the broad-shouldered young man shown from behind is Jonathan Eagleson, a sophomore who lettered as a freshman last year, and who is definitely one of the Bellaire team's most talented wrestlers this year.
Tragically, near the end of a very successful day at a preparatory meet a week ago, Jonathan injured his collarbone, and while we're hoping for a full recovery in time for next season, he couldn't compete for the Cardinals today. But Jonathan (who's also pictured below with Sarah and Adam today) is a natural leader among his teammates; so of course he and his dad Bary were there with the rest of the team at 6:45 a.m. for the weigh-ins, and the two of them, along with Jonathan's mom Guinn, were among the last folks out of the building at day's end. (Bary and his brothers were all wrestlers in their day, too, so he knows lots more about the sport than I or most parents do.) The Eaglesons have been treasured family friends for many years — Jonathan's older brother Christopher, now a sophomore at Rice University, graduated with Kevin from Bellaire in 2006, but they'd been classmates and close friends quite literally since their kindergarten days. Jonathan and Sarah are also great buddies. He's been a terrific role model and mentor for Adam in wrestling this year, and we're enormously proud of him, too!
The Eagleson family joined ours in a happy dinner tonight to celebrate Adam's best day so far as a wrestler, one that will win him a varsity letter jacket: Although several other competitors on Bellaire's very young and hungry team placed as high as fourth today at district, Adam was the only member of the team who'll be going on to the Region III competition.
The photo below shows the three top finishers in the men's 140-pound category: District Champion Joey Ducker of wrestling powerhouse and overall meet winner Westside High School (center); second-place finisher Luis Guzman of Sam Houston High School (right), who'd defeated Adam in an earlier match but injured his collarbone in the finals against Ducker; and third-place finisher Adam Dyer of Bellaire High School (left), who'll go to next weekend's regional contest as District 23's first alternate in the 140-pound category. We certainly wish young Mr. Guzman (who is a classy and talented athlete) a quick and full recovery, but if he's not able to compete, Adam will do his best in trying to represent our district along with young Mr. Ducker.
By then, with luck, I may be able to update this post with a video of Adam's thrilling final match, including his winning pin of a talented opponent. And if Adam does wrestle again next week, maybe I'll manage to get a decent action photo or two. (Which will definitely require a tripod: I was shaking too hard and yelling too loudly today to get anything remotely close to a publishable photo during any of the matches themselves!)
UPDATE (Mon Feb 4 @ 7:00pm): Here's a .pdf scan of the Houston Chronicle's report of the results (which also shows how thoroughly Westside High School dominated this meet; Westside's coaches have been good friends to the young Bellaire program). Here's a .wmv video clip (3:24 min.) of the match in which Adam pinned the wrestler from Davis High School, Alex Argulles, who ended up in fourth place. At the start of the clip, you see Adam getting some final words of encouragement from Bellaire assistant principal Marcellars Mason, who's been coaching this year's team along with Trey Herrmann. And here's another .wmv video clip (0:55 min.) of the awards ceremony. The videos were done by Adam's older brother, Kevin, and it's his voice you'll hear narrating. (The whoops at the end of the match were his mom, though, and the loud whistles were me.)
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(1) Michael J. Myers made the following comment | Feb 2, 2008 11:29:16 PM | Permalink
Congratulations. You've got lots of demands on your time, but you've figured out that one of the best things you can do (when you get time out of the office) is watch your children's high school athletic games. I used to leave the office whenever I could to watch my two daughters high school basketball and volleyball games. They were lightly attended and frequently I was the only father there. My daughters' teammates surreptitiously observed me very closely to see what my reaction was to the action on the court. The girls on the team cared desperately that at least one father was there to watch. I saw a lot of mediocre to lousy basketball and volleyball play--and wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Mr. Myers, I would not have traded today for 50-yard-line tickets at tomorrow's Super Bowl.
(3) invernessie made the following comment | Feb 2, 2008 11:54:00 PM | Permalink
What a great family! I come from a family of wrestlers (all 3 brothers participated at a variety of weight classes). While I was on the field hockey and swimming teams, a friend, with a lot of guts, was the first female wrestler on our HS team (this was the late 1970s). Your account brings back so many memories. Good times, good times. Best wishes to your family.
(4) Bingo made the following comment | Feb 3, 2008 1:18:27 AM | Permalink
Can you picture parent Beldar in the stands excoriating the referee?
"Hey REF ! ! Vestri matris gero certamen tabernus ! ! !"
(5) Adam made the following comment | Feb 3, 2008 9:44:02 AM | Permalink
Awesome, awesome, awesome :-). Thanks for sharing this!
(The "Adam" who commented just above is a colleague and close friend, but not my son.)
Wrestling is a great sport.
My younger brother wrestled in HS and at UVA (ACC champ at 130) and his oldest son is a HS wrestling coach in Vermont. One of my sons in law was also a fine HS wrestler.
Wrestling is still the biggest sport at my college, Lehigh University, but, alas, I was only a swimmer there.
But whenever I can, I watch AAU, olympic and college wrestling on TV. Like you, I would rather watch it than the Super Bowl.
(8) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Feb 3, 2008 7:08:59 PM | Permalink
Dear Mr. Dyer: No, no, it would be a serious error to let Adam go on to District. His talents don't lie there. Glory awaits in other directions. Introduce him to John McCain. I have no doubt that Adam's great skills would do more to get McCain on the conservative beam than all the messages posted here combined. Fifteen minutes should allow time for a full exchange of views, and if THAT isn't sufficient, then a full exchange of nelsons ought to do the job. Give the political reporters a different lead too. After that, perhaps he could instruct Friend#1 in the correct world view...
A little more seriously, it is fine to read this post, which lowers the blood pressure, refreshes the spirit, and gives us all to wonder if the human species might have something going for it after all. Many thanks.
Good luck to Adam.
(10) Friend #1 made the following comment | Feb 6, 2008 12:02:23 AM | Permalink
(11) DRJ made the following comment | Feb 10, 2008 1:20:40 PM | Permalink
I don't know anything about wrestling but I know about kids and families. Yours sound terrific.
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