By Alfred C. Martino

Ivan Korske and Bobby Zane could not be extra different--they come from various backgrounds, diverse existence, and so they have very diverse values and methods of the area and working with humans. but they either have the force, selection, and dedication to self-sacrifice essential to turn into a champion. in spite of everything, notwithstanding, just one will stand within the middle of the mat together with his fingers raised in victory. Has every one boy ready sufficient? Sacrificed adequate? Does each one are looking to win sufficient? all of the education, soreness, operating, and slicing weight finally comes right down to a couple of brief mins on a wrestling mat--leaving one boy the victor, the opposite devastated.

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Ivan didn’t answer. ” “That’s enough,” his father said. “Papa,” Ivan said, “it’s been eight months. Mama’s gone. We need to move on. When are you gonna let me live my—” The back of his father’s hand, in a crisp, sudden arc, sent Ivan sprawling into a chair. In an instant, Ivan bounced back up to his feet like he had done a thousand times on the mat. His reaction seemed to surprise his father, if only for a moment. Ivan didn’t touch his cheek or acknowledge the gash on the inside of his lip. He simply smiled, a livid smile.

Or the year before. Or the year before that. 22 Ellison turned to his stomach and began doing pushups. ” Ivan shrugged. “One-thirty-five for Hillsborough and the Hunterdon Central tournament. Maybe cut to twenty-nine after. ” He offered a hand to Ellison and pulled him to his feet. ” Ellison nodded, and the two wrestlers faced each other. Behind Ivan, the boiler chugged to life again. His legs sizzled along the mat and his arms knifed into position as he finished off a double-leg takedown, lifting Ellison high off his feet and down to the mat.

Bobby put down his fork. ” It was a grueling road to the states, he knew. In late February, thirty-two district tournaments across New Jersey advanced the winners and runners-up in each weight class to the eight region tournaments held the following weekend. The same was true from the regions to the states, a week later, when the top sixteen wrestlers at each weight competed for the title of state champ. ◆ 31 His father shook his head. ” “Sorry,” Bobby said, smartly. ” And still hungry. And, yes, he had thought about being a state champ.

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