Team WV returned yesterday as the bus pulled in on the 20th hour of our trip from Fargo. Oddly, we had a 2 hour wait just to get out of the NDSU parking lot (funny now, not funny then). To get a laugh at that mess, you'll have to tap into a team member. Nevertheless, everyone made it home safe and sound. And, the help we had was amazing. So, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who was involved in making this trip and the weeks leading up to it possible. So, here goes:
The Members of the Team - The boys were well-behaved and focused the entire trip. The 3 training camps were great because they came ready to work every week. I know that only a few members were happy with their results, but my hats off to all of them for taking their summer time, $$, and motivation to compete in the biggest tournament anywhere. Only those who have been to Fargo as a competitor or a fan understand how truly grueling this tournament is. There is nothing else like it. It was special to witness Braxton Amos become our first double champ since Ken Chertow did it 1983, John Nash make his great run only to lose in the blood round, and Jackson Henson battling tooth and nail with the Blair Academy kid to lose a tough one 3-3 on criteria. Like I said, these boys battled and we hope to have them all back next year. They represented our great state with class & competed to the best of their abilities.
The Families of the Team Members - The families were very gracious and supportive of our boys in Fargo. It's not easy to let a 14-18 year old go on his own with coaches you may not know very well. But, we appreciate you allowing the boys to go. Special thanks to the Frisco family for hosting half of the team at your house during the last training camp in Morgantown. And, it was nice to see all of the parents waiting when we got off the bus. The boys do miss their moms. I hope that the boys enjoyed it.
Coaches & Chaperones for the Trip - John Dempsey, Steve Riner, Kyle Symons, and Shannon Jeffers. These guys give up their summer time away from their families for over a week just for their love of WV Wrestling. Special thanks to Coach Riner for communicating with people back home through Twitter and posting on the forum. Side note, Coach Symons didn't even have any of his own Musselman kids make the trip. He went again this year for the 4th year in a row because he wants to improve WV Wrestling.
Coach Henson & his WVU staff - From running our 3rd training camp in the WVU Wrestling Room to coaching our boys (not just Jackson) from the corner of the mat, Coach Henson was involved from the start. The team greatly benefited from working out with the WVU team throughout the last training camp. Also, Coach Henson and the MRTC made a donation to the team for the travel bill. Totally, his idea. Coach Henson, Coach Marable, and the WVU staff are truly onboard with improving WV Wrestling throughout the entire state at all levels. Here's a quote from a text Coach Henson sent me yesterday after I thanked him for his help (Coach, I hope you don't mind me sharing this): "I want to do something special here at WVU and I know it takes an Army so let's build one together." His partnership with Team WV is much appreciated!
Chris Way & PHS Staff - For conducting the 1st training camp at PHS in June and the qualifying tournament. Coach Way and his staff have been involved for over a decade with Team WV.
Ken Maisel - Thank you for managing our financial account and for paying the bills throughout the year. He's been involved from the start and works year round to help us make this trip possible.
DC Tours (of Louisville, KY) - An outstanding bus company. They are very flexible with our schedule and easy to work with. They do a great job of transporting us safely. I highly recommend them.
Rudis - My friends, Tommy Rowlands & Jesse Leng, do a great job with our Team WV gear. The kids loved the gear and the product is first class!
Mitch Smith (of West Liberty) - Thanks for helping the team prepare by teaching and running the workouts at our Huntington Camp. Great to have a former Fargo champ giving back to the boys of WV.
Robert Jarrett - For his work in getting a donation for the team. Another former Team WV All-American giving back to the next generation.
Doc Miller - Just for doing what you do and letting us all stay in touch with the sport and state that we all love.
If I forgot anyone, I apologize. Thank you to everyone who was involved and made this trip possible for the WV Wrestlers.
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