Kyle Lovell’s high school athletic career ended Friday on the wrestling mat inside Veterans Memorial Coliseum. He lost two close matches and that was it. No shame there. Only 70 of the 952 participants at this years state tournament will win championships.
Lovell, a senior from West Albany, says he didn’t expect to win states but he did hope to win a match or maybe even two. His season got off to a slow start but he came on strong in the end, placing second at districts and that finish, he says, gave him hope.
Lovell’s final match Friday was against Sebastian Lopez of Springfield and Lovell says he was leading going into the third period. “We battled for 10 or 20 seconds for those points and I just couldn’t get my hips around him. After giving up the takedown, I still had seven seconds to get a reversal or even an escape to tie it up, but I just couldn’t do it,” says Lovell.
Soon after the loss, Lovell sought refuge deep inside the Coliseum. He found an empty piece of cement by the beer cooler in the south hallway. He tossed his headgear aside, sat down on the cold floor and faced the wall. With his hands wrapped around his bowed head he tried to let the loss go.
He emerged with red, swollen eyes, sweat pouring down his face and the sting of loosing trembled on his lips. He summed up his final match with words that others are sure to understand before this tournament is over.
“Time ran out and I lost it,’’ he said.