This is it for Juneau's prep wrestlers.
Practice is over, seeding has been determined, and now all that's left to do is wrestle it out for the right to be called a state champion.
Thunder Mountain continued to impress this season in the program's second year, and the Falcons have four wrestlers representing their school this weekend in Wasilla while the proud Crimson Bears' team will send two to state
"We've got four guys who all have a chance to place, and I'm expecting that," Falcons coach Chad Requa said. "But as long as they throw down, as long as they're battling and going hard, I don't care about the outcome."
And that's one thing the Falcons are ready to do: go hard. Requa's practice sessions with state approaching were anything but restful, but the kids know that's the way they have to prepare.
First-time state qualifier Jackson Pavitt, 171 pounds, said practice with Requa has him ready for the unknown in Wasilla.
"I'd love to place, but I'm not really sure about the competition level because I've never been to state," he said. "I'm just going to go in and wrestle hard, and hopefully I place."
Pavitt battled with Requa in practice Tuesday evening, and he he knows the importance of training intensely in the week leading up to the state tournament.
"You get to the point where you can't stand up," he said laughing. "We'll be fresh when it's time to wrestle.
"And like coach said, all the other (opponents) are going to be tired just like us."
Joining Pavitt in Wasilla is heavyweight Cole Bossio, 130-pound Thomas Riley and 160-pound David Steininger.
On the other side of town, Juneau-Douglas has two seniors ready to capitalize on their last chances as Crimson Bears.
Henry Dalton at 189 pounds and the 145-pound Kyle Barry know the competition will be difficult, but each one feels they are prepared.
"We've been training pretty hard here," Dalton said. "This was a goal of mine to make it to state senior year, so it means a lot."
Dalton and Barry will both be making their first appearance at the state level this weekend.
The ASAA/First National Bank Alaska 2010 State Wrestling Championships begin today in Wasilla and run through Saturday.
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