Wanted to follow back up with you and give you a little more insight into our State Tournament and Cliffton?s amazing State Championship performance!
If you?ve been keeping up with the news on our social media accounts (feel free to give us a follow – links below!!), you know that Cliff was named the Section 1 Wrestler of the Year – way to go Cliff!
It seems Cliff?s been dominating the Section 1 Wrestling news the past few weeks – and for good reason!
What?s not as obvious, though, is the incredible, unselfish, team effort that helped propel Cliff to these heights.
These quiet, behind-the-scenes efforts are a huge part of what makes our program so special.
Saturday morning in Albany is the semi-final round, and as we walked into the arena for weigh-ins, it really hit me just how supportive our Edgemont Wrestling family is.
At that moment, as we were making the short walk from the hotel to the arena, one of our coaches was getting ready to warm-up with Cliff, another was out getting breakfast for everyone, two more were up at the hotel breaking down film of Cliff?s opponent. In all, we had 8 coaches – most of them volunteers in our program – giving up their weekends and traveling up to Albany for no other reason than to help this outstanding student-athlete reach his goals.
As the head coach, it?s easy to get caught up in the details, the moment or the task at hand, and not take the time to appreciate the bigger picture. It was a pretty cool moment to realize we have this awesome machine in place to support our wrestlers – between the filming, scouting, warm-ups, physical therapy and massages, meals, recovery, logistics, etc. – and leave no stone unturned.
And that?s not all – many of our parents and wrestlers (my own father included!) were on the road up to Albany, as I was thinking these very thoughts, to lend their support and help in the efforts.
They all realize, as a family, when one of us wins, we all win. State Champion or not, it?s the same way every year. We do it together.
Just the very fact that you?re taking the time to read this email shows that you?re part of the family, part of the efforts and part of our success! (So, thank you!)
I feel tremendously proud and grateful to be a part of this type of culture. Like everything about our program this was truly a team effort.
The crazy thing is that this culture isn?t limited to one weekend in Albany…
What you may not realize is that this environment and this type of support is something that happens year-round in our program and we all have an important part in that.
I talked about our coaches, but it really starts with our wrestlers. These guys work SO hard day-in and day-out to accomplish their goals. They push each other to the edges of their ability everyday in practice and hold each other to a very high standard. In an ?individual? sport like wrestling, it?s easy to think that they do it for themselves, but ask anyone on our team about their motivation and I guarantee you?ll hear words like ?family,? ?team effort,? and ?together.? It?s always amazing to me the lengths to which our wrestlers will push themselves when they fight for a cause that?s bigger than themselves and for reasons that transcend simply winning or losing.
These guys reach the heights they do because they fight for each other and know they have a group of teammates, coaches, parents and alumni to support them, rise or fall.
The support our parents give our wrestlers and our coaching staff is also unparalleled and vital in our success as well. The laundry, the food, the rides, the cheering, the support and the buy-in to our program?s philosophy – our parents, individually and collectively, deserve a ton of credit for the successes of our wrestlers and our program and for the young men and women we all help to develop.
Even with all this support, it?s our alumni and their families, and our supporters and fans that are really the x-factor.
In fact, your support is the the single greatest demonstration we?re able to give our wrestlers that they?compete for something bigger than themselves. Your support is the motivation that pushes us past the tipping point.?You guys are literally the power that drives the ship.
I can?t tell you the difference it makes for our guys having alumni show up at practices or matches. Seeing parents of former wrestler in the stands supporting our team. Having conversations about the future of our program at our Candlelight Inn BBQ each spring. Receiving calls, texts, emails and direct messages asking about our team?s performance or offering support. The monetary gifts that allows us to keep doing what we do, far beyond what our school budget can afford.
As a coaching staff, we intentionally share all of these interactions with our wrestlers, because, collectively, it?s a game-changer.
Every fan in a seat, every conversation, every dollar in gifts to the program is literally the physical manifestation for our wrestlers that they?re on the right path; that no matter how hard it gets, the struggle is worth it; that you, who have come before, recognize the value of this sport and this program and take pride in helping others achieve the same goals.
I was recently asked an interesting question by one of our alumni from the 80?s. He asked me: when did we go from being a wrestling team to a wrestling family?
I stopped and thought about it. I?d never been asked that before. The answer is this: we became a wrestling family the moment we all realized that they only way for us to really accomplish our ultimate goal of ?Building Champions on the mat and in life? effectively is doing it all together – wrestlers, coaches, parents, alumni and supporters.?
Don?t tell anyone, but that?s the secret!
That?s why I?m proud, today, to kick off Edgemont Wrestling Club?s Annual Giving Campaign for the next 30 days. Our goal: 60 donors. Just like everything else in our program, we?ll do it together.
My only request is this: Please take a look at why your gift to our program is so important right now (and how you can support our program).
As always, thanks for your support and talk to you soon!
Feed the Panther,