Craig In high school, I was lucky enough to be an OK runner on a good team and attend the Ohio state championships twice. I’ll never forget the energy that came along with running at that meet, especially at the start.
The start line was on the infield of a horse racing track, with most of the thousands of parents, teammates and others who came to the meet in the track’s grandstands. After the gun, we ran down the far side of the infield before turning to run one strip right in front of the crowd.
The first time I made that turn and confronted the deafening roar of everyone in attendance, it was all I could do not to break into a sprint. Most of them weren’t cheering for me specifically, but it didn’t matter. That’s the effect of a great crowd.
Whether it’s a few hundred making noise in a high school gym or 75,000 screaming at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, there’s nothing quite like being an athlete and knowing all those people are behind you.
The Moffat County and Hayden wrestling teams had that Thursday in their dual in Craig. Parents, siblings, fellow students and wrestling fans turned out and filled the bleachers in the MCHS gym and made themselves heard throughout the meet.
It made the entire dual (which was an excellent matchup, with most matches lasting into the second period) feel that much more important. Anytime there was as takedown or reversal, the crowd cheered. Every near-fall, some in attendance gasped while the rest went bonkers, urging their wrestler on.
It was loud every time a Moffat County wrestler’s name was announced and even louder every time they did something great. Even avoiding a pin, as freshman Matt Moschetti did in the second period of his match, drew major applause.
Afterward, he told me it was the most fun match he’s wrestled this season. That’s the effect of the home crowd.
Senior Jesse DeMoor got some help from the crowd in the final match of the day, as he trailed by two entering the third period. But when he earned his escape and then worked for a takedown, the noise from his teammates and from the stands kept going up. When he earned the takedown, the place went ballistic.
An atmosphere like that is what you always hope for. It’s fun to be a part of as a fan and awesome as an athlete, and it even had me, the cameraman who was there to work, pumped up.
There are two more wrestling events in Craig, plus a swimming meet and seven more home games for the basketball teams. Keep it coming.
Nate Waggenspack is always happy to annoy you with his high school stories. Contact him at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.