"Don't let your team down..." - Pasco Bulldogs Team Motto
PHS wins District title for first time in school history! Pasco High School
Bulldog Power!!!!  Best on the Web!
110,905 visitors since Jan 1, 2002
Click here to visit the best Of The West Duals site...
Wrestling News
Coach's Corner
Other Info
Pasco Wrestling
Click here to visit reSportCard...
Click here to visit the Marines website...

Bulldog Wrestling News
Wrestling's More Than A Sport; It's A Philosophy
May 15, 2018
"First published: 02/19/09 12:05 am The News Tribune (http://www.thenewstribune.com/)"

"First published: 02/19/09 12:05 am The News Tribune (http://www.thenewstribune.com/)"

A friend sent me this article I just received it today. There have been a number of great wrestling articles out there the last couple of weeks but I totaly agree with this one and I built my career around these principles. I know it is true because 3 or 4 times a week I get letters and e-mails from former wrestlers who verify exactly what Mr. Earl says in this article. This is an exact reprint and the credit is to Mr. John Earl

"Still Grappling For Excellence"
Coach Bodnar Retired Pasco High School

Wrestling’s more than a sport; it’s a philosophy

Published: 02/19/09 12:05 am

Tacoma will be invaded Friday by an army of 1,200 battle-hardened warriors. They will descend on the Tacoma Dome from every large city, small town and forgotten hamlet in this state for a two-day brawl called Mat Classic.

If you’ve never witnessed this annual exposition of high school wrestling, you’ve missed one of the true spectacles of Tacoma. Believe me, there is nothing else quite like it anywhere.

After this army weighs in for the last time this season, they will descend like locusts on local eateries in an effort to sate the 4,000-plus-calorie-a-day habit required to fuel their high-performance bodies.

They’re generally polite and well-mannered; I just wouldn’t stand between one of them and the buffet line unless you ache to be on the receiving end of a “gator roll” (don’t ask).

The support brigade for this army consists of 15,000 friends, family and wrestling aficionados who pack the Dome and cheer or wail at every takedown, escape and pin awarded.

Yet despite the fervor in the stands, the hallways and aisles showcase some of the politest folks you’ll ever meet. Doors are held open, “after you” is frequently heard, and “sir” a common salutation. Perhaps in a place crawling with current and former wrestlers, bad manners seem ill advised.

High school wrestling is a world unto its own, and every year on the third weekend in February, the Tacoma Dome becomes its Mecca. The floor of the Dome in covered with 24 mats, and six separate tournaments are held concurrently. There is pomp and ceremony, victory and exaltation, heartbreak and defeat. By the end on Saturday, new state champions will be crowned and medals awarded to the top eight competitors in each weight. Just to qualify for the state tournament is victory, but to medal is sublime.

There are many special moments at Mat Classic: the running of the zebras (referees), the Parade of Champions, announcer Ed Aliverrti’s stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful” and the unbridled joy of a freshly minted state champion leaping into the arms of the coaches who helped him get there.

My favorite moment every year is the flag salute. At the start of each day’s competition, everyone falls still for the national anthem – everyone except the 103-pounders. In the hush you can hear them tap-tap-tapping, bouncing from foot to foot. With one hand on their hearts and the other clutching their ear-guards, there is no stilling these balls of kinetic energy. Their tournament starts as soon as the anthem ends.

Wrestlers are my favorite people in the world. To say they are physically tough is cliché. What distinguishes wrestlers is that they are mentally tough beyond measure.

It is will that drives wrestlers to do things most people can’t imagine even possible. To wrestle live for six minutes requires conditioning beyond most people’s comprehension.

Daily practice for a wrestler might start with a four-mile run followed by 30 minutes of calisthenics, 20 minutes of hard live wrestling, 40 minutes of drilling and technique, followed by more wrestling, drilling and calisthenics. A typical wrestler can lose three to five pounds in a three- hour practice (that’s where the 4,000-calorie habit comes in).

All this they endure with the singular aim of competing in the Tacoma Dome in February.

Eventually, young wrestlers realize that this is so much more than a sport. Wrestling is a life philosophy. Young people learn how to challenge themselves, how to train to do extraordinarily difficult things that others dare not even dream. And if coaches and parents have done their jobs well, the wrestlers will carry these lessons with them through life.

Congratulations to everyone who qualified for state, but especially to Michael. You always make us proud.

Former News Tribune guest columnist John Earl is a former wrestler who will compete in the old-timers wrestling tournament in Gig Harbor on March 7. Paramedics will be standing by. Reach him at johntearl@earthlink.net.

Posted by: Robert Bodnar, Jul 05, 07:30

Wrestling On The Hard Road - 1
March 10, 2018
The beginning of it all.

My journey with wrestling on the hard road began when my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. Mom passed in 1961 changing my life forever. Mom was diag...

Leadership In Coaching and Life
October 25, 2014
On The Hard Road
Leadership Development Plan Pasco High School Wrestling Robert K. Bodnar Head Coach
Athletes, coaches, parents, and staff:
This lea...
Leadership Lessons From September 11, 2001
September 8, 2013
On The Hard Road-4

Leadership Lessons From The New York City Fire Department.
A great book! Check it out!

."....At the moment, our country faces...

Sometimes All We Have Are Opportunities
January 20, 2008
Sometimes We Have Opportunities And Don't Take Advantadge Of Them
This posting is a reprint of one I had written earlier this summer, occassionally I bring back some of the things I have written after I think about t...
A Fierce Conversation With Coach Bodnar-7
October 12, 2007
Grappling For Excellence

I try to bring this article back every couple of months to remind myself and others just where the rubber meets the road.

I think this...

August 6, 2007
The best leaders operate in four dimensions: vision, reality, ethics, and courage. - Peter Koestenbaum, Philosopher, quoted in FAST COMPANY magazine

Never Lose The Fight Within You!

Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.
- Wi...

Pasco High Wrestling Success In Order And In Perspective .........UPDATED!
March 17, 2007
Pasco High School Wrestling News March 25, 2006