From the roar of the crowd; to the raw emotion on the mat. This past weekend's Vermont Wrestling State Championships at Vergennes high school, showcased all that is special with one of the world's oldest sports.
"It was kind of crazy with the fans out there but it was a pretty good crowd," Mount Anthony wrestler Miguel Calixto said. "I was nervous at first with this being my last title match. But I came out and got the job done."
On a night where Mt. Anthony won its 25th straight title and four undefeated wrestlers stayed perfect. There was certainly what to celebrate. But with the IOC's recent decision to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic games, each victory tasted a little less sweet.
"For us wrestlers, that is what we dream of doing," Harwood wrestler Kyle Streeter said. "Getting a chance to train and work towards the Olympics."
"It's as good as it gets for us," Mount Mansfield coach Harley Brown said. "We don't have pro contracts or make a lot of money, we do it for the love of the sport."
Like these mats, the IOC's decision would roll up the dreams of so many Vermont wrestlers and those across the nation. However, many will tell you, this match will go the final six minutes.
"I think like in wrestling it's a match you battle for all six minutes and maybe overtime," Mount Anthony coach Scott Legacy said. "We are in overtime and I think wrestling is going to come out on top."
"I think it will come back," Mount Mansfield wrestler Ben Bliss added. "A lot of countries have it as a main sport and I think they'll bring it back."
It's a group, not easily pinned.
"The wrestling community is coming together, we are going to be heard," Brown said.
PO Box 4508