It was my junior year and my first year on the varsity wrestling team at Southridge High School. I had been doing well, with a strong record of eleven wins and three losses. Most of those wins though were against people that couldn't be considered very good. My three losses were all against highly ranked wrestlers; I had run into a lot of them this year. I had to be honest with myself; I had tried hard, but at numbers one, three, and seven in state, they were simply beyond my current skill level. Maybe next year when I was a senior like them I would be up there. For now though, I would settle for just being ranked. Oh, how I wanted to be ranked. At the time I would have given anything; to make a name for myself, to have people fear me. It was my dream and I dreamed about it every night.

And here was my chance. I was standing in the gym of Hood River High School. The Hood River Tourney was a round robin tournament, a tournament were every team duel meets every other team. The teams were Hood River, McMinnville, Pendleton, and us. While McMinnville's team was not very good both of the other teams were reputably strong at wrestling. Our match against Hood River had been close but in the end Southridge had prevailed, if only by a few points. Pendleton was up next and they were notoriously good. In fact, they were a good deal better even then Hood River. We would have to pull out all the stops to beat them. If only one person didn't wrestle up to his potential we would loose. After them was to come McMinnville, but everyone knew they didn't stand a chance so the tournament was riding on our next match, us vs. Pendleton. If we won, we won the tourey; if we lost .

At the time though, I didn't care about the team as much as I should have. I cared far more about myself. I figured that I would wrestle the best I could for myself and by default help the team out. Since I had beaten the Hood River 103 pound wrestler and I was going to receive a forfeit against McMinnville, my personal tournament standings depended on this next match against the Pendleton 103.