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Old 03-18-2007
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Danny Burk Danny Burk is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 1,782
The End....Part 1

I am going to try to do this in two parts, and keep them somewhat shorter instead of one long, long blog. So, it will break it up a little bit. The first part will be the regular season....just catching you all up on what went on during the last year of my career. The second will be the post season, and a conclusion.

To start with, actually, I want to say congrats to all the high school wrestlers in the state. I didn't get to make it to many meets, but was following every step of the way, and am proud of all the young athletes who competed, whether they won state, or a simple JV meet. We are all wrestlers, and I have a lot of respect for everyone who laces them up and steps on the mat, regardless of skill level. I kind of want to send a short shout out to some of my favorite high school wrestlers - Andrew White, Josh Boyer, and Pat Johnson of Peoria Notre Dame; Tyler Larson from Dekalb; Max Oldenburg from Reavis; and a special shout out to Ty Taylor from Princeton, because he told me I needed to write another blog a couple weeks ago.

Anyway.....my season started off a bit weird, because I was in limbo with a lot of things concerning my body. I had a few injuries....one from a couple years ago that will never go away, and one from the summer.....that I kept having problems with. I was actually told by a doctor in September that I probably should call it quits, and just stop wrestling before I get myself into a lot more trouble than I need to be in. But, after talking to my mother in the doctor's office, I decided there was no way I was going to miss my last season, no matter what. So, I had to come up with a couple different methods of dealing with my problems, and my coaches and trainer were all very helpful in adjusting my workouts and everything.

Coming into the season I had some high goals, and knew I had worked harder than ever before to prepare for the grind. My training went very well for the most part in the offseason and preseason, and I felt pretty decent. I sat out the first meet at Stevens Point, and then finished 4th at the UNO tournament. I lost to a kid from Nebraska by one, and then lost to the Iowa kid for 3rd (he ended up 3rd at NCAAs, too). The match was tied 1-1 with 35 seconds left, and I tried to scramble out of my shot, and went to me back. But, I walked away from the meet with the biggest win of my life.....a pin of #4 ranked Brandon Mason from Okie St (he ended up an All American).

Then we went to Vegas for a tournament, and I didn't wrestle well there at all. I just didn't get my offense going much. I followed that up with a terrible performance against Northwestern in a dual meet, losing in OT. I actually wrestled pretty well, but it was the first time in a long, long time that I had actually been gassed out of a match. I don't know why....but for some reason, I just didn't have my usually energy in the third.

After X-Mas, we went to the Midlands, and I was ready to go. I had trained hard during the break, and felt good. However, one of my "problems" came up during the night before the meet, and I was unable to sleep through the pain. In addition to that, when the problem comes up, it makes cutting weight very, very hard. So, the next morning I really struggled for the first time really to make weight before a meet, and I was hurting. But, it's really no excuse. I went 3-2 at Midlands, losing my first match by a point, then losing again by a point later on. I just wasn't wrestling well, and was outwrestled by other kids. In my mind, I knew it wasn't my best effort, and I knew I needed to get my injuries under control and refocus a bit. We had two weeks off after Midlands and just trained. During that time, I went from what I consider an average wrestler to a pretty good wrestler, and it was all mental really. We trained hard, and I pushed hard, but I always do that. My coaches just stayed on me, and made me believe completely that I could beat anyone if I stuck to my style. I really started to realize that, while I was wrestling hard and getting guys tired, I could take that to a whole new level. It is kind of pointless to be in great shape if you aren't going to use it, really.

I kind of went on a short roll after that, winning some dual meets...I think 5 in a row or something. During that stretch, I beat the kid who kept me out of the NCAA's, which was one of my goals early in the year. But more than wins and losses, I was feeling good and wrestling very well. I still had things to work on, and keep working. But the new attitude and new style were starting to pay dividends. I then lost to Sinnott from Central Michigan 5-3 in a dual. Going in, I knew it would be a battle, and I was prepared. It was 1-1 in the third, and he finished his moves, and I didn't, so he won. But, at the same time, I felt I wrestled a good match. I didn't lose to someone who was inferior to me....I lost to a good wrestler, because he was better than me that night. I still knew I was doing the right things, I just needed to finish my moves.

The next weekend was my last home meet ever.....a quad. I won all three bouts, including a win over Kenny Robertson from EIU. For those of you who don't know, Kenny and I wrestled on the same kids club team ever since we were tiny, and still have a pretty good friendship. I respect him a lot, and it's weird competing against him. But, he had beaten me 4 times in college.....so I suppose it was my turn to win one. It ended my career in front of the NIU fans on a good note....although it was a bit bittersweet.

Last edited by admin; 03-18-2007 at 06:34 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old 03-18-2007
Highc95 Highc95 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: suburbs
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Let me be the first to say thank you for the time you have put into this blog. We know its tough doing it during the season. You have given us a piece of two college wrestlers and what they do and let us learn about your experiences. I'm sure those who haven't wrestled in college have a new found respect for it. Thank you!
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