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The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT December 22, 2010

| December 22, 2010 8:00 PM

Although many of those local wrestlers got shut out of the finals at the Tri-State Invitational, there were a lot of positives that came from Saturday's action at North Idaho College.

Most importantly, the season is still young.

AS THE lead in the team scores switched seven times between the quarterfinals on Friday to the finals on Saturday, wrestlers from Post Falls wound up in the thick of the team title race.

Even though the Trojans finished fourth, it was still a good indication of what to expect after the New Year.

And with last weekend's tournament being the second of the year for many of the local schools, chances are they'll continue to improve as the season moves on.

The competition was also some of the best of the year, with schools from Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho in attendance.

Winning a state title over that span is difficult enough, but try to imagine winning a tournament with the best of those five states in the same amount of time.

It's a pretty tough task to accomplish early in the season.

WHILE MOST of those wrestlers that I talked to were a little bit disappointed with the way they finished the tournament, I couldn't see why they were.

After watching the tournament last season and for most of Saturday, what I witnessed was a bunch of wrestlers that could compete for a state title in their respective weight classes and showed the determination to do it.

Losing in a tournament is never the expected result, but in one as tough as Tri-State, settling for second, third or even fourth place isn't a bad consolation prize.

Sometimes the competitive nature takes over in most, for which I understand why most were down about finishing either second or third.

Along those same lines, I also expect each of those wrestlers to finish the season with a state title and in some cases, wind up leading their team to a state title.

CHANCES ARE, most learned enough over the weekend to know exactly what needs to be fixed following the holiday break.

Between the lack of school during the next two weeks, most athletes looking to improve their conditioning will find a way to get it done.

That frustration felt for most after they concluded the tournament may be replaced with a feeling of joy come February if they finish the season the right way.

Even though class will not be in session the next two weeks, those that learn from mistakes will find themselves a lot happier down the road.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at 664-8176, Ext. 2020, or via e-mail at jelliott@cdapress.com.

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