DES MOINES, Iowa- The Iowa High School Wrestling Tournament invites 3 classed in weight brackets of 16 each to come to the Well for an opportunity to be the best in the state.
The tournament involves dozens of volunteers, and even some students who are not always athletes.
Before each session a student sings the Star Spangle Banner in the arena as athletes and fans face the flag.
“It's a lot of singing the national anthem, over and over again,” said Eric Wells of Glenwood. “The scariest feeling is forgetting the words, believe it or not the national anthem is the hardest song ever to sing.”
Eight students are selected to sing before those eight wrestling sessions. The student, and their vocal coach have their names listed in the Tournament Program.
Another souvenir for some fans, is a t-shirt. A stand on the concourse can print messages on the shirt.
“Kaitlyn my daughter and McKenna's senior year so it's their last wrestling tournament,” said Tina Antle of Newton.
“It's kind of bittersweet kind of sad that I'm not gonna be able to come back it was a good time,” said Caitlin Antle. “My mom is making me a quilt out of all my senior T-shirts and everything that I got.”
For wrestling parents, the tournament brings to an end a season of weekend tournaments, and early morning workouts.
“It was nerve-racking for an adult as well as a child it's the same thing for me and him I'm as nervous as he is,” said Ron Bowlin of Indianola. He came to watch his son Reece. “It’s been every weekend since November, we're going somewhere, yet takes a lot of time and effort.”