The Inside Trip - Behind the Scenes of ASU Wrestling with Patrick Pitsch

Feb. 8, 2008

Week Five (February 9) - Catching Up
Back to the Inside Trip

We left off just before our trip to California, so as I catch you back up on our duals from California, Oregon and Oklahoma, bare with me. The last two and one half weeks have been crazy between wrestling, but these bumps in the road are going to benefit us later down the road. We started by heading into the weekend with positive thoughts of knowing that we have to wrestle three matches over the course of three days. This seems like a sensible task, though when you throw cutting weight and traveling 2-3 hours after every dual in there, it starts to ware on you. The positive side that I talked about earlier is that this mental toughness training that is preparing us for Pac-10's and Nationals. California was a personal battle for everyone as it seemed the trip would never end. Highlights include Anthony Robles being the only man going 3-0 on the weekend, along with Todd Schavrien, and Brent Chriswell winning 2 out of 3 matches. Others on the team, including myself, really had to take a step back and look at our matches, learn from our mistakes and move on. All of these matches only prepare us more for the Pac-10's and national tournaments. Through our struggles, the coaching staff was very positive in efforts to comfort the hard weekend. I don't know if some of us would not have made weight with out Brian (Stith), Eric (Larkin) and (Coach Thom) Ortiz being with us every step of the way through our quest for victory. We left California for home to lick our wounds and return to the mat for Oregon and Oregon State the next weekend.

As we took Oregon State to the mat, we started with Anthony Robles winning with style in front of his high school crowd. Todd Schavrien also took charge on the mat, coming away with a victory. This is when the snow ball effect started to take over a bit as we lost five straight bouts, until Brent Chriswell took charge and secured a victory. Jason Trulson also boasted a victory before Kenny Lester lost the final match. As you can see the trend starting to form, the Sun Devils began to regroup as we called our own practice Saturday and worked out a few kinks, shared stories of the food we wished we could eat and were ready for a `W' the next day against the Ducks of Oregon.

As the dual started, you could definitely see a change of attitude on the mat as more and more victories were recorded until the final hand was raised, the benches were cleared and the Sun Devils were victorious. Through our struggles, we begin to see light in a dark tunnel. This is going to take us up to date to our latest dual, in Oklahoma. Before the dual, many people on our team went to the Boys and Girls Club in Tempe to help the kids with their homework. This was great for our team to get out into the community and help. Now, back to Oklahoma... the score does not reflect the effort we have been putting in behind the scenes as you begin to see many wrestlers doing more things right, but we still need to put it all together for three rounds. Anthony Robles and Todd Schavrien were our only victories, though Chris Drouin, myself and Chriswell all were in the mix for victories. Once again, we learn from our mistakes, taking our frustration to the practice room, which, as I have been constantly stating, is how we are preparing for the Pac-10's and nationals. Time and time again, wrestlers constantly turn up the heat for the Pac-10 and nationals. It does not matter who beat who... it's which wrestler is going to bring it that day of competition. Practice has been intense and we are constantly improving on our weaknesses. Staying positive and continuous improvement each day is our focus. Each day we focus on getting better in each position, never looking ahead and only focusing on the now is going to help our team achieve our goals for the future. I leave you with this...

I BELIEVE YOU ARE STRONGER THAN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE YOU HAVE TO FACE.
I BELIEVE THAT, EVEN IF YOU CAN'T SEE THE WAY CLEARLY RIGHT NOW, ALL WILL BE WELL IN YOUR LIFE.
I BELIEVE IN THE STRENGTH INSIDE YOU, AND THE GOOD THINGS AHEAD OF YOU.
YOU ARE A SUN DEVIL AND HE CAN DO ANYTING HE WANTS TO DO AND HIS FAMILY WILL ALWAYS BE THERE TO SUPPORT HIM.

This was sent to me by my mom and it made me think about how a team believes in one another and hard work will pay off even if the circumstances seem unbearable. This is how our Sun Devil family stays together in tough situations. Along with the fans, parents, relatives and acquaintances, we will rise and conquer when the time is right. So, until next time... keep the faith and watch out for the inside trip. Thanks Mom.

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