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Rocky Mountain JV Tourney

7 January, 2012

Fort Collins, Colorado

This is a large regional affair, with 64-man weight divisions.
Hosted by Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, its
competitors come from Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

The match we just missed. Photo by Heidi Romsa
The first match:
Eli won by decision
7 January 2012
Start of his second match
Eli Vs. Very Tall
worthy opponent
7 January 2012
Meanwhile, the wrestlers' moms are having palpitations...
Eli's worthy opponent
extends his reach
7 January 2012
This was a pretty short match.
Eli's worthy opponent
suddenly downed
7 January 2012
Match over. Photo by Heidi Romsa
Eli advances to
the next rounds
7 January 2012

This day was the beginning of the family reunion in Breckenridge - on
the slopes, of course - and the tournament's location was convenient for
everybody going to the mountains that evening. Eli & I were returning to Cheyenne
at the conclusion of this tournament, as he had another upcoming meet.

Review of the match. Caught him in a blink!
Huddle with
Coach Anadiotis
7 January 2012
Brianna was visiting from Austin for the week
Between matches with
his mom & big sister
7 January 2012
Taylor's wrestling career was curtailed by a bad concussion in 2009
Taylor, here for you,
Bro. With music.
7 January 2012
Gramma Freeman is a potent cheering section!
Eli, flanked by Mom,
Gramma & Grampa
7 January 2012
The wrestlers look after each other. It's great to watch.
Eli mentoring Phil
during a tough match
7 January 2012

Brianna had come up for the week from Austin, Texas. She was
right there for her brother, and for their mom. When I think of all the
mothers present, watching their young sons compete, I think of how
crowded the gymnasium would be if all the butterflies were set free...

The next opponent had been signing to his folks before this match.
Semifinal Round:
this one was tough.
7 January 2012
I wasn't sure if the opponent's folks were deaf or not.
Fast action. No flash
photography, Eli asked.
7 January 2012
This worthy opponent finished 4th, nevertheless.
Thank God these guys
work out! Neck stand.
7 January 2012
T-birds: East High. Lobos: Rocky Mtn High.
Thunderbird Eli has
this Lobo in talons
7 January 2012
Not giving it up without a fight.
Nearly pin-time.
Nothing is easy.
7 January 2012
The handshake. I like it. Respect.
The back cover:
closing the book
7 January 2012
I can't help taking a picture of these moments.
Eli advances to the
championship round
7 January 2012
This is when the butterflies turn to yellowjackets.
Worthy Opponent & Eli
ready for the final round
7 January 2012
W.O. is impatient to get the match going already, eh?
The handshake before
the starting whistle
7 January 2012
Everybody wants their kid to be the winner...
This was a very
well-matched bout
7 January 2012

As he advanced with every round, and the stakes grew higher,
we found ourselves getting a little bit more nervous for Eli. It
helped to have Taylor here, with his deadpan grasp on Reality,
keeping our proverbial feet on the ground.

Eli was soon on the defensive. Photo by Heidi Romsa.
Trying to regain
the advantage. Close.
7 January 2012
...I just want nobody to get injured. That's my prayer.
W.O. maintaining
heavy pressure on Eli
7 January 2012
My last photo of the match. Urghh!
Eli about to get
2nd place at Rocky
7 January 2012
They sat together, having a chat.
1st & 2nd place
120-lb wrestlers
7 January 2012

The championship round was the most stressful for me, which
I was able to hide behind a camera. Eli's worthy opponent was
clearly rabid about winning, and Eli put up a valiant effort as well.
Seeing these two opponents sitting amicably together before the
awards presentation was refreshing and inspiring.

I like the smiles. I like the camaraderie.
The Victors, 120-lb Class.
A pretty good year!
7 January 2012
This is the official '3 of our kids' photo
Taylor, Brianna & Eli
light up Ft Collins
7 January 2012
This is the picture I'll probably get into trouble over
Yes, Brianna, they do
grow up so fast!
7 January 2012

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