The Brandon (Florida) High School wrestling team's national record of 459 consecutive victoriesthe longest record held by any high school team in any sport and spanning nearly 34 yearshas been broken. South Dade High School recently defeated Brandon, 32-28.
The tournament Brandon was participating in when they lost was by far the sternest challenge to their streak and was even titled the Jim Graves "Beat the Streak" Tournament. Seven of the opposing starters had placed in the state competition and had a crowd cheering, Beat the streak! behind them. Also, the top-four teamsBrandon being the top-ranked teamin Florida were competing.
While South Dade handed Brandon its first defeat since 1973, Brandon is quick to look to the future. The squad is poised to forget the loss and quickly refocus on building another impressive streak by focusing on advice from upperclassman Kevin Timothy: "Next year we start back at one."
Do you think any team in any high school sport will ever top Brandons streak?
I remember watching Rulon Gardner win the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics against all odds. His victory was one of the greatest upsets in
Olympic history. He handed three-time Olympic champion Aleksandr Karelin of Russia the only defeat of his 13-year
international career, winning by 1-0 in the gold medal match of the
Greco-Roman superheavyweight division.
When I read that the small plane Gardner was flying in hit the water in a remote part of Lake Powell in southern Utah recently, I had confidence he could beat the odds again. In addition to his Olympic underdog success, he had already survived two accidents. In 2002, he had to have a toe amputated because of frostbite after he was stranded in the wilderness overnight while snowmobiling in Wyoming; two years later, he was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle in Colorado Springs.
A father bounded into a youth wrestling match, picked up his son's winning opponent and launched him out of the ring, an episode caught on a home video. After tossing the 11-year-old boy into the air Sunday, the angry father headed toward the cameraman, the father of the airborne boy.
"I was just wrestling, then the guy throws me," the boy, Nick Nasenbeny of suburban Aurora, told WMAQ-TV in Chicago.
Ray Hoffman, the father in the video and a part-time wrestling coach, told the television station he regrets his behavior and feels embarrassed. He said his son's shoulder was injured. Hoffman also said he will no longer be allowed to coach.
Nicole Woody was recently featured as a stand out high school athlete as read in Sports Illustrated: She is one of the top female wrestlers in the U.S. and still encounters people who think the mat is no place for a woman.
Reportedly, some schools forfeit rather than send a boy to face her, and one fellow wrestler transferred rather than be on her team. But Woody, a graduating junior and team captain, also hears plenty of encouragement. Several girls from states across the country have reached out to her online telling of how they have been inspired to start wrestling.
It's a choice more girls are making. At U.S. high schools the number of female wrestlers has tripled in the last decade, from 1,629 to 4,975. (There are 50 times as many boy wrestlers.) Woody's coach, Bill Royer, says, "It's not a girl-boy thing. She's a wrestler. She lives and dies and bleeds this sport."
Woody began wrestling at age nine at the suggestion of her mother, Mary, who liked the discipline it taught her son. In August, Woody was the only American of either sex to win a title at the Junior World Championships. Her ultimate goal is the Olympics, which added women's wrestling in 2004. Good luck to her!