24-hours a day and all year long

Phillip Harnden photo
Stoddard (right) humbly accepts some time to answer questions for local television after his win Saturday.


By Phillip Harnden phillip@glenrockind.com

Tate Stoddard is a wrestler. He doesn’t split his attention with football or track.
He is dedicated .
He is a wrestler, full stop.
To his coaches and teammates his name conjures ideals of commitment and discipline to his chosen sport of grappling and pinning.
That dedication paid off this weekend when he stood on the top step of the podium at the prestigious Shane Shatto Memorial tournament.
“It felt really good,” Stoddard said of his victory. “It was a definite confidence booster just three weeks out of Ron Thon.”
Ron Thon Memorial Tournament is arguably the season’s most prestigious competition. Some believe a win at Ron Thon is better than a state championship. Stoddard finished first there last year.
This past weekend Stoddard faced five rounds of fierce competition to earn his Shane Shatto medal. Three of those rounds were won by pinning his opponent.
“Honestly, wrestling is not like any other sport. This sport has taught me so many different life lessons and an appreciation for a lot of things in life. We take so much for granted. I’ve made so many friends because of this sport. It is one of the only sports you can do that with. In football you hate the other team and the other players. It’s different with wrestlers. I will wrestle Trayten Dawson (Newcastle-Upton), for example, and 30 minutes after our match I can go up and say, ‘what’s up man’ and we are pals.”
The camaraderie between opponents on the mat is one thing, but the bond among teammates is more like a brotherhood for the Herders. The practice room, known as the blue room, acts as their living room. And their family meets more often than most actual families during the season.
“Once you step into that wrestling room we all bond together,” Stoddard said. “Almost every weekend we like to do team activities like bowling or movie nights. A couple weekends ago we all went sledding. We are all brothers on the team.”
The lessons learned in the blue room aren’t just about overcoming and pinning your opponent, but about skills that he can use off the mats, says Stoddard.
“I’ve learned a lot about leadership,” he said. “Nic has kind of given me some of that role. I’m not the team captain, but I have sort of become an assistant team captain.”
Stoddard doesn’t stop wrestling just because the high school season ends.
“Wrestling is a 24-hour sport all year,” he said. “During the off-season we wrestle all the time. I would say four times a week during the summer, and lifting weights all the time.”
He stepped on the mats for the first time in sixth grade and has been a devotee of the sport ever since.
While most high schoolers are spending their summers at the lake or hanging with friends, Stoddard is planning on attending more wrestling camps at the University of Wyoming, Utah and maybe Ohio.
Stoddard is currently sitting on a 24-3 record for the season so far, and if his pattern continues, he will be the 113 pounder to watch.

Coach’s Notes
Glenrock got noticed at the Shane Shatto Memorial Tournament in Douglas over the weekend.
In addition to Stoddard’s first place finish, the team landed sixth of the 26 teams listed. They were only 6.5 points behind 4A Kelly Walsh, 11 points behind both Pueblo, Colorado and Natrona County.
The ability to score as a team in wrestling is dramatically impacted by the size of the team. Glenrock had no competitors in two classes, 120 and 220, reducing the team’s scoring potential.
With all that in mind, landing sixth, above all the 3A teams, and several 4A teams as a 2A  team is certain to gain the attention of other 2A teams that don’t even dare to compete in the bigger tournaments.
These individuals garnered those points, Stoddard (113) - 1st, Joe Taylor (132) - 2nd, Brysen Collier (138) - 6th,  Zane Moore (152) - 3rd, Isak Elisson (160) - 5th and Ian Arnold (170) - 5th.

What’s Next
The team will suit up next in Torrington Saturday for the Blazer duals against Torrington, Laramie, Newcastle/Upton, Wheatland, Buffalo, Lusk and Burns/Pine Bluffs.


Glenrock Independent

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