Taylor and Trey Hatfield: Siblings together in the training room
I Don’t Want To Talk About It - Rod Stewart - Two consecutive weekends, totaling four days, I was immersed inside a high school wrestling tournament. And on Sunday, a day of rest, I processed photos of wrestlers, wrote about wrestlers and in my downtime I talked about wrestlers. I haven’t been anyplace else, so who am I supposed to talk about, Robert Kraft? My wife Susan runs my own game back at me. “You know you’re crazy, don’t you?” I respond, “Of course I know.” It’s like wearing some listener out; you know it, but you just don’t care, so you just keep talking. When you put DIAA committee members along a row of tables coupled with the insider wrestling clique, you (OK, I) may never have a person initiate a friendly conversation. But I’m there for the athletes, and I cover them all like a blanket, tugging along my dumb old chair. I realized in a moment of clarity, “I am 72 and actually handicapped, but no accommodations were made.” I can’t sit on a mat and get up without the aid of a forklift. I was always sneaking and sliding around – it was exhausting. The DIAA credential is not for free admission; it’s for professional access. Having made that point, I got an array of great photos for a “sneak,” and like the nuns always told me, “Nobody likes a sneak,” but I’m not trying to be liked, I just want a clear view of all the mats from my chair.
Taylor the trainer - Taylor Hatfield wears a Milford shirt – she is the assigned trainer out of Bayhealth. I know her from working my beat across all the sports. She is a graduate of Sussex Tech and the University of Delaware. She is young and pleasant and interactive, meaning if you talk to her, she actually talks back. That should not be a notable compilation of traits in any person, but unfortunately out in the social milieu of sports, self-importance seems to be an affliction many people wear on their sleeve. Trey Hatfield, Taylor’s younger brother, is a senior who wrestles 170 pounds for Sussex Tech. He’s a beast. He had a season record of 37-9 and placed fourth in the state tournament. I captured their photo in the training room before Saturday’s semifinal round. It reminds me of the song by War, “Me and baby brother used to run together.”
Enabler and a slacker - I could not “bang a wrestler with a stalling point” in a championship-round match. I would be like, “If you don’t do something soon, I’m sending you to the wrestler room and you’re not coming back until the consolation round or you’re just going home.” The wrestling officials are great – they keep bouts moving and keep the athletes safe. The limp-wristed arm-raising in victory could be a little better. I saw Andre Currie (152) leading 6-2 in the semis get hit with two stalling calls and a locking hands for four points. Billy Ott (195) won a quarterfinal bout 2-1 over Nasir Dreuitt courtesy of a stalling point the William Penn coaches never saw. And at 285, Jamie Schirmer and Kevin Hudson locked up and pushed on each other for five minutes, and with seconds remaining and Schirmer leading 2-1, he was hit with a stalling call, tying the match he would lose in the fourth overtime. Wrestlers just wrestle. Whoever won deserved to win. If you’re not close to the edge, you can’t fall over the ledge.
Snippets - Spring sports for high school start practice Friday, March 1. The early spring weather close to the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean is usually harsh. Athletes should dress in layers with something to keep away the cutting winds and to wick away moisture from your core or trunk, whatever you’re calling it in 2019. I like Ocean’s Eleven as a theme for girls’ lax going for 11 straight state championships. The Cape girls’ basketball team gets a bye, then will open the state tournament at home Friday, March 1, against the winner of St. Georges and Lake Forest. Top-seeded St. Elizabeth awaits Cape in the next round. I’m not the guy who puts brackets into words. Find and download a bracket, then clamp it with a refrigerator magnet. Sussex Central’s 195-pound wrestler Michael Wright will attend Millersville University next year and wrestle for the Marauders, who are in the tough PSAC. Lock Haven is still a powerhouse in that conference. Scotty the K of SoDel wrestled there. Go on now, git!