My thoughts on the Class L tournament and Class L overall (sorry, wall of text coming).
This year’s tournament was extremely exciting with the champion decided during the final rounds wrestling. Couldn’t say it any better than Gerry deSimas at Connecticut Wrestling Online, so I’ll just link his article. I encourage everyone to read it. Mr. deSimas is a huge benefit for the Connecticut wrestling community. Connecticut wrestling wouldn’t be where it is today without his efforts. I hope he doesn’t mind me linking his website.
I wrote a piece last year on sportsmanship, and I echo those again this year. Sportsmanship was on display, even when there were some heartbreaking losses (138, 285), the defeated wrestler I thought showed class and grace. Wrestling is a violent sport, learning to keep control is a lesson beyond the years of these young people. It is a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives. Be proud. The coaches, parents and fans were all cheering for their guy and, even when the ref missed a call, I didn’t hear (too much) negative reaction. Coaches pulled refs aside and had, what appeared to be, constructive conversations to understand calls. Compliments to the refs and coaches for displaying calm and coolness under intense pressure. I have nothing but respect for officials, it is a thankless job.
Simsbury, what can you say? Two years, and 3 points separates you from back to back championships from back to back runner-ups. Xavier wrestled inspired and pulled it out by the narrowest of margins.
Bristol Eastern runs an excellent tournament. The wrestling progressed well and orderly. And while it did extend the tournament and extra hour or so, I think it should be mandatory that the finals are run solo (not with the 3rd and 5th place matches). It really added to the drama of the team score and the fans were really into it. There were some amazing finals and I for one am glad I wasn’t distracted with other matches going on. Good call. My only suggestion is to wash the mats at least once or twice during the tournament, especially before the finals to ensure no dust on the mats effects the match. Just the optics of seeing mats get cleaned is positive.