Point of View: Homer Middle School wrestling wraps up the 2024 season

What a season! Homer Middle School had 38 wrestlers join wrestling, way more than we have had in a long time. Whether students joined and realized wrestling wasn’t for them, had their season cut short by injury, or finished out the season with more wins or more losses, we are proud to have coached EVERY SINGLE WRESTLER.

Middle school wrestling affords the opportunity for kids to learn what they are made of. To learn that challenge is part of life. To realize that losses are inevitable and wins sometimes look like getting your hand raised and sometimes a win looks like lasting into the second period or making it through a hard practice. There is so much to be proud of this season. Every wrestler walked out of the wrestling room stronger in mind, spirit and body than they walked in. Thank you for allowing us to coach them.

On a competitive note, it looks like we took second at Boroughs behind Soldotna with our seven borough champions and 18 top six wrestlers. At state we had some great matches against some very solid wrestlers. Carlin, Corbin, and Noah wrestled hard day one and developed as wrestlers giving themselves a step up for next year’s competition. We had five make it to day two. Ryder went 4 and 2 in a tough weight class, Hailie took fourth and Araya got fifth. Isaiah Kincaid and Phoebe are state champions! Some of our team traveled with Anchor Kings and wrestled amazing. Both Isaiah Mann and Christabelle placed fourth, and Story made it to day two.

End of Season Party: This Thursday we will have our End-of-Season Pizza Party during lunch. All who wrestled this season are welcome to join our celebration. Please send any wrestling gear to the office this week! Please look around in the laundry, under beds, in bags, and in your car for singlets, headgear, warmup jackets or wrestling shoes. Make certain the office records your wrestler’s name when you turn the gear back in. There is a charge for any lost or missing gear. We look forward to celebrating your athlete on Thursday!

Is your wrestler missing wrestling? Anchor Kings club wrestling is happening now! Info is on the Anchor Kings Facebook page. Another great option is to encourage your wrestler to join track. Track starts March 26 and is a great way to be active, make new friends and have fun. Middle school is an excellent time for kids to try many sports and activities. When young athletes play many sports it reduces the chance of overuse injuries and burnout.

Thank you one thousand times! There are so many who leaned in to make this a great season. Big thank you to Tammy Cook and Arwyn Weisser for your help coordinating volunteers and Robyn Lohse and Aaron Lang for driving and shaperoning. Thank you to parents that sent snacks and funds for athletes while traveling. The snacks and food kept athletes happy and energized. And, thank you to all family members for the support you give to your athletes as they did one of the most challenging sports.

Thank you to our coaches, Coach Tristian for your steady support and solid wrestling knowledge; Coach Diaz for bringing an energy and spirit that elevates us all; Coach Kyle getting us to and from tournaments safely and your coaching support during tournaments; Coach Roth for finding time to come in and connect to athletes; Coach Charlie for supporting on the mat and in the classroom; Coach Cameron for your positive energy and being the most excited when coaching mat side. A big thank you to our wonderful high school coaches Paul Minke, Jaydon Weisser and Saoirse Cook.

We are incredibly appreciative of the supportive administrators, Mrs. Redmond and Mr. Krekling. And to Homer Middle School staff, Vikki, Geo Beach and Dustin, for keeping us functioning.

Most of all we are so grateful for each of the wrestlers. We are already excited about next season. We will have a solid middle school program next year and we are excited about next year’s freshman cohort.

Aaand, that’s a wrap!

Coach Tela O’Donnell Bacher, OLY, was born and raised in Homer. The strong sense of community instilled in her by the town brought her home to raise her children and give back to the community that gives so much.