Nome Wrestling Invitational, a tourney out of the ordinary
By Colin McFarland
Last weekend, the Nome Nanooks hosted a wrestling invitational tournament. Wrestlers came from Galena, Teller, Shaktoolik, Savoonga and Gambell to compete in what was a slightly different tournament from the norm. Since none of the visiting teams had very many wrestlers, there weren’t wrestlers for every weight class. But that wasn’t going to stop them from wrestling.
The Nanooks faced off against opponents they may not have initially expected including their own teammates or adversaries with an almost 30 pound weight advantage. This was because of the aforementioned shortage of wrestlers to fill weight classes, some brackets were made with a sort of “as close as it’s gonna get” policy. Especially in the heavier weights where 189 lbs wrestlers were wrestling opponents weighing in as heavy as 215 lbs. However, as unusual as this may have been for some, it did nothing to set the Nanook team back.
Nome wrestlers took victory in nearly every match they competed in and gained invaluable experience and knowledge they will use in future matches. And that’s really what this was all about, an opportunity for visiting teams to come here and have a chance to compete but also a chance for all of the wrestlers to learn.
When asked about the main thing he gained this weekend, Lucas Marvin (11 grade), a Nome wrestler at 189 lbs said, “I think I gained knowledge on what I need to work on, I need work on countering top moves and listening to what coach is saying.” On the topic of things he wished were different, “I wish I had remembered the counter to the move my opponent did to me. I know I could’ve won the match.” Lucas’ feelings were reflective of the atmosphere of the event as a whole. This was an opportunity to get better, no one lost because they were unlucky, they lost because of mistakes that they’re going to fix next time.
]This atmosphere of learning was especially emphasized when Coach Dudley Homelvig held a post tournament practice with all of the visiting teams including the Nanooks. He covered techniques that would’ve won people some of their matches and mistakes that lost others their matches. His philosophy was that he didn’t mind if he was showing other teams our technique, he wanted everyone to be better wrestlers. If our team has good competition, we will be much better off.
At ACS next week, the Bush Brawl and Lancer Smith tourneys the following weekends and eventually regions, look forward to seeing a much improved team of Nome wrestlers.