For the last 20 years, the Virginia Duals has occupied a space on my January calendar.

In January of 1995, I saw my first-ever wrestling dual in my high school gym on a cold (by Virginia standards) Wednesday night. Two days later, I sat in the stands in the Hampton Coliseum and watched my high school knock off the 18th-ranked team in the nation in the first National High School Division of the Virginia Duals. That moment hooked me on wrestling.

Did that singular moment hook me? I began to think about that a bit. I tell this story every year to pretty much anyone who will listen. My wrestling credentials on the competitive side could be written on a post-it note, but a big part of the reason I was drawn into the sport of wrestling is the passion displayed by our coaches, parents and volunteers.

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