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Annnnnnnnndddddd they're off!

February 12, 2008 - Dan Voigt
Wednesday at 12 noon, I will be standing in a side lobby off the main public entrance of Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, watching for the first door to open on the 2008 State Wrestling Championships. At exactly noon straight-up, the doors will be opened and wrestling fans of all ages will come pouring through the turnstiles at the Well. I've been going to the State Tournament for 17 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me that every time those doors open prior to a session, you invariably see a group of people at a full gallop (or at least a good canter or lope), headed for the seats to stake their claim to the best spot to watch all eight mats. I mention this because it always says volumes about the popularity of wrestling at the high school level in Iowa, but it also says something about how Iowans support their young people. Even if folks don't have a son, nephew or grandson out there on the mat, they will take a day to go to Des Moines, cheer on their local wrestler, and just be a part of what has been recognized as the nation's largest high school wrestling tournament. When it all comes to a close Saturday night, there will be heartbreak, there will be happiness, but most importantly, it will be a celebration of Iowa's youth and our future.


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