For whatever reason, the turnout for the Grand Canyon State Games' wrestling Saturday in Wilson Dome was very disappointing.
Only a small contingent of grapplers turned out to compete in the annual games which are designed to be an Olympic festival for Arizona's amateur athletes of all ages and abilities.
Tournament director Don Heizer said he was baffled by the lack of participation.
Another youth tournament was held the same day at Tempe Marcos de Niza High School, but even that shouldn't have diminished the attendance to the few athletes who showed up.
Some adults theorized that during the summer months, athletic competition is not the most important thing on the mind of youngsters. Video games, television and visits to the big city malls are some of the attractions that seem to have replaced athletic competition in the lives of many youngsters.
Because only a handful of age/weight divisions had more than one athlete entered, wrestlers were forced to compete outside their divisions.
Only a few matches were held throughout the day. Whatever the reason for the lack of participation, it was disappointing for a community that is known as the small-town wrestling capital of America.
Cousins take to the mat
If there was a highlight to the Grand Canyon wrestling games, it might have been a match that pitted a pair of cousins against one another.
In a bout among 9-year-olds, Troy Loutzenheiser son of Payson High School basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser wrestled Kole Tieman of Eagar/Springerville.
Kole is the son of former Payson High School student/athlete Tommy Tieman who is now a law enforcement officer in Eagar.
The two cousins put on a good wrestling display that fans and parents thoroughly enjoyed. About the only hindrance Loutzenheiser suffered in the match was some ill-thought out wrestling advice offered by his dad who was videotaping the match.
It seems, the coach was offering the suggestions based on what he's observed in high school "folkstyle" competition. These games were contested in freestyle and Greco-Roman rules.
After realizing his miscues, Loutzenhiser promised that he would stick to coaching basketball.
Bank One thrill
Ky Bradley and Teddy Pettet will experience the thrill of a lifetime Saturday afternoon when the two take to the Bank One Ballpark for the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association Super 50 North vs. South All-Star baseball game.
The game will begin about 5 p.m. or an hour after the Diamondbacks vs. Detroit Tigers baseball game. That contest begins at 1:35 p.m.
Bradley and Pettet were selected to play in the prestigious game at the conclusion of the 3A All-Star game that was played last month at Grand Canyon University. Pettet was the coach and Bradley the starting third baseman on North team. The North won the clash 5-1.
From the ABCA four all-star games 1A-2A through 5A that were contested in the post season, eight players from each team were chosen to play in the Super 50.