Catch and Release

February 25, 2011

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Tiffany Butler took a moment to consider how lucky she was to be in this situation. At mid-season, her record had stood at a mere 5-10. She had wrestled better in the second half of the season, but had also been the recipient of some good luck. An upset had knocked the top wrestler out during the regional tournament, and she picked up another win when her opponent was forced to forfeit due to injury.

Tiffany’s record for the season was unspectacular 15-16, but she found herself on the mat, getting ready for a state tournament match. She was blazing a new trail for girls everywhere. As the lowest seeded wrestler in the tournament, she had drawn the state’s top 112 pound wrestler as her first round opponent.

Garrett McCormick relished the opportunity to defeat Tiffany. Some guys were reluctant to wrestle a girl. All Garrett saw was an easy victory that would put him one step closer to his third consecutive state championship.

Thirty seconds into the match, Garrett had affirmed his initial thought – he would have no problems controlling Tiffany. He saw opportunities to pin her, but decided to draw things out in order to make the loss more humiliating for her. Garrett toyed with Tiffany for the entire first period before scoring a takedown at the end up the period.

He took the down position in the second period and quickly escaped, running the score to 3-0. They danced around the mat before he scored another takedown. Garrett allowed her to escape a moment later. He could have easily pinned her again, but played catch and release with Tiffany, taking her down four times and allowing her to escape each time.

A quick escape from her down position at the beginning of the third period allowed Tiffany to close the gap to 11-5. Garrett decided to put on a show for the folks in the crowd. He scored seven takedowns in rapid succession, each time allowing his prey to escape – running the score to 25-12. He had to give the girl credit – she had a lot of fight in her. The match would be over in a moment – he needed just one more takedown to force a technical fall.

Garrett glanced up at the crowd and saw his girlfriend in the midst of the mass of humanity. Alycia was zooming her camera in for a shot. Garrett smiled broadly and struck a pose that he knew would look great in the school newspaper.

As he saw the camera flash, he felt himself lose control of his opponent. Before he could fully focus his attention back on the match, Tiffany had complete control of him and he felt his shoulders touching the mat. He struggled in vain to free himself. His dreams of another state title were over – he had been pinned by a girl.

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