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Old 02-16-2011
Timesfreelanceguy Timesfreelanceguy is offline
Wrestling Media
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 903
All good things...

I learned on Monday that I would be covering the second day of this weekend's state tournament.

This was very good news for me (and I hope it's good news for the kids in my area), because Saturday will be my final day covering Illinois high school wrestling. Barring a major personal catastrophe, I'll be moving to Florida sometime between April and August, and the one son who might still wrestle will likely be going with me.

This is my (using the Iowa method of taking one's socks off and counting with the toes) 15th state wrestling tournament. It started in 1989 in Wisconsin, where I covered four straight state meets, then took eight years off before coming to Assembly Hall in 2001.


During that time, I got to cover a lot of local kids, including several state champions. My favorite of all of them was and is Clayton Rush. Gail, I'm still waiting for that sweatshirt, and if D3s are within driving distance I wouldn't mind seeing him go for a national title.

I have a lot of Assembly Hall memories. Great matches. Great coaches. Greater kids. These kids will continue to go on making memories. And there'll be (I hope) reporters to write about them. It just won't be me.

But I look forward to one more go-round. One more dance with the uber-huge bald security guy on the Assembly Hall floor as I try to go places he thinks I shouldn't be. One more Grand March. Hopefully, a few more titles...I won't put any more pressure on any of the kids in my area by naming names...but a few would be nice.

Wrestling has been in my blood since 1986. The people who know me well would probably bet that I'll find a way to stay in it. They're probably right. Perhaps I'll build a Florida Matmen board similar to Mr. Bare's. I'll try not to write too much about Brandon if I do.

Lace em up. Go 1000 percent for 8 1/2 if you have to. Leave it all out there. Let it all fall.

You'll be missed. I promise you that.

Thanks for reading.
Shannon Heaton
La Crosse Tribune/QC Times 1.0/Geneseo Republic/Moline Dispatch/QC Times 2.0 wrestling beat writer

Last edited by admin; 02-16-2011 at 11:44 AM.
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