My neighborhood averaged more wrestlers per household than mailboxes.
There were 11 of us in one five-house stretch aged 20 years apart.
It's pretty much what we did.
Whether we liked it or not, which was part of my problem. I did it not because I loved it, but because when the winter season came around we put on the headgear.
The itch to wrestle in the neighborhood really began when the second-oldest out of everyone took second in state in the biggest division in Ohio.
He was a two-time state runner-up and everyone else used that as the bar.
I was a .500 wrestler in my four years of varsity wrestling. I beat the kids I should have and the lost to those better than me.
I never made it to state and by the time my senior year came around I was mentally burned out and never competed at the level I probably could have if I had more of mean streak or better work ethic in practice.
It's easy for me to admit that all these years later, but back then I was blind to it.
That void probably is why I have such a passion for covering wrestling. While I never experienced competing at this level, I get to be right there with today's competitors soaking up every little bit of it.
Anyway, enough about me.
Here is the info on the Division I tournament involving Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe wrestlers.
It gets started Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
There will be two championship rounds and one consolation round in the first session.
The second session starts at 6:30 p.m. with semifinal action and one round of consolation.
Friday begins with the consolation semifinals quarterfinals at 12:30 p.m. and the finals start at 7 p.m. will be all six placers.
Here is a look at each area wrestler's bracket.
103 - Matthew Mathers, Desert Vista.The freshman (27-10) got a bit of a tough draw, facing the fifth-place finisher from his sectional - Valley Vista's Jacob Reyes (32-15) - in the first round with a possible meeting top-seeded Ricky Ortiz (51-1) of Carl Hayden in the second round.
112 - Cody Rojas, Mountain Pointe. The sophomore (24-11) is in the same slot as Mathers where a first-round win pits him against the top-seeded wrestler, this time undefeated Dalton Brady (37-0) of Chandler. He needs to take care of Mesa's Erik Trejo (20-14) in the first round.
119 - Tyler Struck, Desert Vista.Struck (25-13) got stuck with the second seed to open the tournament. The senior has to be at his best if he is going to place. Struck takes on Da'Wayne Robertson (44-3) in the first round.
125 - Robbie Mathers, Desert Vista.The defending state champion grabbed the top seed. It should give him an easy path to the semifinals. Mathers (35-3) takes on R. Reik (20-6) of Trevor Browne, who he pinned last weekend, in the first round. He should face Gilbert Highland's Chad Done (34-5), who he beat in the season's first match, in the semis and then two-time champion of Sunnyside Lucio Murillio (31-1), who he beat at Flowing Wells.
130 - Cooper Gardner, Desert Vista.The sophomore (27-12) finds himself in the same spot as a couple of his teammates as a first-round win over Boulder Creek's Dennyn Mattson (32-20) pits him against top-seeded Curt Done (30-2) in the quarterfinals.
135 - Kendall Love, Desert Vista.The Indiana transfer was treated right by the brackets Gods as most of the top contenders are in the top-half of the bracket and he is in the bottom. If Love (23-6) can get past Cibola's Pierre Gaud (32-11), who didn't face last week, then he takes on third-seeded Alexander Buelna (34-6) in second-round. They missed each other in the dual meet. A win there would most likely pit Love against Westview's Robert Sobarzo (32-2), who beat Love 3-2 in last week's finals.
152- Robert Link, Mountain Pointe.Link (19-12) takes on Valley Vista's Marco Aguayo (15-14) in the first round. They didn't meet last week in sectionals. The winner most likely faces No. 2 and former state champion Edgar Verdi (37-3) in the second round.
160 - Nick Olguin, Mountain Pointe.Olguin (19-13) drew a tough first-round matchup in Desert Ridge's Ryan Hatchcock (23-4). An upset there would most likely have him face Mountain Ridge's Daniel Cotton, who is 16-2 after coming back from a trap injury. Cotton pinned Olguin in 56 seconds last week.
160 - Ace Martinez, Desert Vista.This senior (31-7) is determined to find his way into the finals after finishing third last season. This weight classis as tough as dried out piece of beef jerky. It starts with a matchup against Salpointe's Diego Gadea (38-5) and win there probably puts him against Dobson's Cody Barriente (34-4). After that, Mesa's Dorian Coleman (35-3) most likely awaits in the semis. If he manages to get past that gauntlet, either Cotton or top-seeded Red Mountain's Bobby Davis (36-5) will be in the championship round.
171 - Sam Schoepf, Desert Vista.This is another beast of a weight class as Schoepf (30-7) hopes to finish his breakout season in style. First-up is Boulder Creek's Scott Edy (39-10) with a matchup with Yuma's James Gomez, the third-seed with a 38-3 record. Gomez beat Schoepf 5-1 last week in the semis. A win there most likely brings state-placer Highland's Christian Allen (37-3) if he can get past Gilbert's Tyler Cattey, who was a state runner-up last season.
189 - Jimi Dixie, Desert Vista.The junior (27-11) has the same first-round matchup as last week as Tolleson's Nelson Novoa is up first. Dixie beat him 5-2 in the first round and then 3-0 in the consolation quarterfinals. Assuming he can pull off the hat trick, top-seeded and former 5A II champion John DeVito (38-1) in the second round. DeVito beat Dixie 6-0 last week in the semis.
215 - Alex Bambic, Desert Vista.This sophomore state placer is the second seed with his 33-3 record. He takes on Skyline's Darian Hapner (27-16) in the first round, Highland's Jason Cook (28-12), who he already beat this season, in the second round and most likely Red Mountain's Bobby Worth in the semis, who also beat this season. It should lead to a rematch with Corona del Sol's Simon Allen (42-0). These two had two epic battles at state last year when Bambic won 8-7 in the first round and Allen won 3-2 in the consolations semifinals. Allen beat Bambic in the finals of the Moon Valley tournament this season.
HVY - Mike Arredondo, Desert Vista.The junior (13-9) dopes well against the lighter heavyweights as he only weight 200 pounds himself. First-round opponent Kyle Alexander (33-6) ain't one of them. Alexander handled Arredondo to finish third at Flowing Wells. If he somehow closes the gap. Sunnyside second-seeded William Espinoza (30-5) probably waits in the quarterfinals.