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

Dec. 4, 2007

Week Three (December 4) - Sun Devils in Las Vegas
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This week's Inside Trip is full of excitement as we build for our first big test of the year at the Las Vegas Invitational. But, before we headed to Las Vegas, we made a pit stop at the New Day Center in Phoenix (check back this week for a photo gallery), continuing it's involvement in the community by reading books and helping the children complete crossword puzzles. This involvement was not only helping youngsters expand their minds, but it also helped the wrestlers become better citizens for giving back and maybe even help expand their own brains! With their newly expanded minds, the team took to the mats in Las Vegas.

The first day of competition started out on a bad foot, with Anthony Robles being pinned, though Anthony was leading 11-0 at the time his opponent managed to put Anthony away. Though he battled hard through the wrestle backs, Anthony did not manage to put enough wins together to make it into the medal rounds. He finished the tournament 2-2.

Todd Schavrien also started the tournament losing his first round competition, but then battled back showing a shimmer of some unseen aggression that he was taking out on his opponents. His dreams of placing ended, however, as he lost a close match to the No. 4 ranked wrestler in the country. Both Todd and Anthony showed they can wrestle with anyone; they just need to put it all together for three rounds.

Chris Drouin started the tournament off better than what our other lightweight guys had done defeating his first opponent, though his second round loss lead into a third round loss that ended his stay in the tournament. Though Chris wrestled hard through each of his matches, it seemed that one key mistake in each match was the deciding factor in the outcome.

Jerrad Trulson had a rough weekend as he lost two and was through right out the gate. Although this ended my hopes of having a young buck come through and place at this very tough tournament, it was a great eye opener for these men to see what mental and physical aspects it is going to take to win at this level. I am looking for each of these freshmen to come back to the practice room with a new found work ethic so they will not be bounced from a tournament the rest of the year.

This takes us to 157 pounds as Alex Pavlenko, still trying to find his groove and string up some wins, was defeated first round, but then rallied for a victory in the wrestlebacks before being defeated in the next round. Alex needs to dial in his mind to be ready to go for Reno and I am sure he will.

As for myself, I started the day off squeaking out a few wins before being defeated in the quarter finals. This loss was most discouraging for me because I know I should win every time out on the mat. The fact that I was tired and I let it get to me a bit really upset me. Anyone can win no matter what happens. You need to gut it out and find a way to win. So I took that into my second day of competition as I needed four wins to place third. Cruising my way into consolation semis, I was in a dogfight to get into third place round. I battled through the match like a warrior fighting for his life. After busting my butt for every point and splitting my lip wide open, spewing blood around the mat for one minute and one-half, I came away victorious. Although I had to forfeit for third because of my lip, it was okay because I had defeated him earlier in the tournament. Fourth was not bad, but I showed up for first. Look for me to break the curse in Reno.

Rick Renzi had a tough draw for the tournament as he faced the No. 4 man in the country. Ricky fought through the match, but was unable to come away with the victory. In his next round, Ricky got a chance to try to defeat a previous loss on the year as he battled the young man from UC Davis. Ricky felt confident heading into the match. As he battled for position and the two were locked in the over-under position, the UC Davis wrestler went for an inside trip that Ricky tried to counter with a throw and a roll of his own, but could not quite make the turn to put his opponent on his back and Ricky was pinned ending his day of competition.

Jake Cranford had a rough weekend losing both rounds of his competition. Jake needed to open up his attacks and wrestle out of his comfort zone because his strategy for winning right now is not where it needs to be. Look for Jake to be a new man in a few weeks in Reno.

Jason Trulson tried to bring some fire to the dying devils, but he too was defeated in the opening round of competition. This sprung some fire back in his feet as he reeled off three wins making it to the second day of competition and needing to win the opening match of the day to place, his dreams were cut short as he was taken down in the final seconds of the match. Do not let this loss fool you: Jason wrestled with the will to win! He went after the takedown and, unfortunately, he did not get it. The heart he showed in that match is going to put him on that All-American podium in March.

Quinton Pruett continued to battle with his opponents though he was defeated in his first two bouts to round out the Sun Devils that competed in Las Vegas.

As we have a few weeks off to get better, look for the guys to really fine tune their skills to prepare for our next outing in Reno. As a side note, the guys need to continue to wrestle like warriors not worrying about the score. Even if the match is 0-0 all the way until overtime, don't panic... you will get your opportunity to score. Wrestle your match and the opportunity will come and, when it does, take it like your never going to get it again.

Thank you to all the parents and alumni that came to support the Devils in Las Vegas! We really appreciate it when we get our Sun Devil family behind us. Even if you can't make it, we know that you are thinking about us.

That's all for this week, so, until next time... keep the faith and watch out for the 'inside trip!'

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