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-   -   Duke's Blog - The NCAA Experience (http://illinoismatmen.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10093)

Huskie184 03-19-2007 11:45 AM

Duke's Blog - The NCAA Experience
 
What's up everyone? The season is over and it is pretty sad. Wrestling season is the best part of the year, and now I have to wait until next October for it to begin again. My season ended where I wanted it to end, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The experience at nationals was like nothing I have ever been through before in my life. It felt great to finally not have to get into the arena with a ticket.

We flew to Detroit last Tuesday, and arrived in the early afternoon. We immediately went to the arena and worked out for about an hour. Some of the other teams we there working out too, so it was finally sinking in that we were there. After the workout, we went out to dinner and then just relaxed the rest of the night. I was exhausted from the day of travel, so I went to bed early and slept in. The next day, we went and worked out around noon. Again, we were there for around an hour. I drilled with Danny and went over some things that I would need to do to win my matches. After that, we had skin checks and then I went to get something to eat. The rest of the night was spent having a team meeting and playing some video games. Surprisingly, I slept very well that night as well, and it was finally time to wrestle.

In the first round, I wrestled John Dergo from Illinois. We wrestled a couple of times when I was in 8th grade, and we were also in the same sectional in high school. He was the 11th seed, but I knew it was going to be a battle. He scored the first takedown, and led the match nearly the entire match. It was 2-2 in the second, but he still had his choice in the third. He led 3-2 with about 45 seconds left, and I got in on a single. I finished it and rode him out for a 4-3 win. It felt great to win my first match, especially over a tough opponent like John. My next match was against Jake Varner from Iowa State, who was the 6th seed. Early on, I went for a low single and missed it, and he shucked me by for a takedown. After the first period, he had 2:34 of riding time. He controlled the entire period, and took me out of my gameplan. The 2nd period was scoreless, and he added an escape, a late takedown, and a riding time point for a 6-0 victory. That match bothered me more than any match in my life. I could not get it out of my head how bad it went. The next morning, I had to wrestler Trevor Brandvold from Wisconsin, who had already beaten me twice during the year. He is tough on top, is a great scrambler, and good hips. I took a 3-2 lead in the second, but gave up a takedown late in the 2nd period and ended up losing 7-3.

After my last match, I just sat there and could not believe my first season was actually over. It was a great experience that will help me in the future. I have improved immensely and will continue to work hard. I have many things to work on and have things to take care of. It was weird seeing Danny walk off the mat for the final time, but it is over. I am glad that I could experience everything with him.

Well, you all have a great day...Congrats to all of our guys who made it to nationals. Congrats to Poeta, Tannenbaum, and Tamillow on becoming All-Americans. Cya...

ol' man river 03-19-2007 07:26 PM

keep earning it duke...it'll come.

Conquistadors 04-01-2007 11:40 AM

Duke,

Very, very nice recap. Thanks!

Congrats on a very good freshman season and best of luck to you the next few years! Although I'm not a "home-grown" Illinois person, when I look for wrestling results I always check to see how you've done and "hope" to see a W in the win-loss column.

Nice job!


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