The state high school wrestling tournament is this week, and that means a sell-out crowd at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Yes, we love our wrestling in Iowa.
I have the greatest respect for wrestlers. It’s you against your opponent, with no teammate to blame for dropping the pass or missing the shot. Making weight can be brutal. And then there is all that twisting and grinding.
I was a wrestling cheerleader all four years of high school, back in the days when cheerleaders wore saddle shoes (what were our coaches thinking?). I wasn’t good, but what I lacked in artistry, flexibility, and beauty I made up for with a loud voice and enthusiasm.
The cheerleaders today still do a few of the same cheers at the side of the mat. “We will, we will, rock you,” pound the mat, boom, boom, clap. Good old Queen. That song was new when we used it. “Take down, take down, 2 points!”
Caroline took these photos at an Indianola meet this winter. She is a photographer for the yearbook. I grimace when I look at both shots, knowing the practice it takes for both skills.
Good luck at state, guys. And girls. (There is one girl wrestler who qualified for state, as well.)