January 18, 2006

My weekend

This past weekend was the North Central Invitational Tournament. Wheaton did not wrestle particularly well, but we're hoping to remedy that in the next few weeks. We are still making progress, and I've looked at this year as building for next, and tried not to get too wrapped up in the individual details of wins and losses. Still, at some point I wonder if some of this is my fault. I always eventually decided that, no, it's not all my fault, because I know what I'm doing, and I know how to teach this sport. There are a lot of things going on that will take more than some hotshot young coach from Messiah sashaying into practice to fix. There will be some hard work after the sashaying.

Also, I met the Speaker of the House at the wrestling tournament. Mr. Hastert wrestled for Wheaton back when he was in college, and he often comes back to this tournament. His college roommate at Wheaton was a national champ who now is the athletic director and head coach at Manchester College. Mr. Hastert also keeps in touch with some of the people I work with. Also, I believe part of Wheaton is in his district. I got the chance to tell him about what we're doing with Strider. Wrestling needs more high-profile supporters like him.

One last funny story. Coach Norton, David, and I are sitting with the Speaker when a few wrestlers from the University of Chicago ask to have a picture taken with him. After he gets up to go do it, the people sitting behind him tap Coach Norton on the shoulder and ask who he is that they would want a picture. Even after Coach told them he was the Speaker of the House and told them his name, the blank look on their faces was priceless. Coach clarified that it was the U.S. Congress and not some state office, and they still sort of looked puzzled. Now, I can understand not recognizing him on site, but I would think most people would understand what you mean when you say "Speaker of the House."

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