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achieveindy.org

Achieve Indy

Empowering youth to break the bonds of poverty.

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Going home a different way

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For Indiana, March-May is the most exciting time in USA sanctioned Olympic boxing. March 15th kicks off the season with six weeks of Indiana State Golden Gloves. The boxers that win at the state level will have the opportunity to compete in regionals and eventually nationals. Winning at nationals qualifies for a spot at the Olympic trials. During Golden Gloves, there will also be Jr. Golden Gloves for kids 16 and under. Those who win Junior Golden Gloves, will advance to the Junior Olympics in May. The boys have been working hard in preparation for these upcoming tournaments.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This past weekend we took 10 boys to the Kentucky State Open Boxing Tournament in Livermore, Ky. This is Kentucky’s largest state tournament of the year. Our boys went into the tourney knowing that we were coming to see how we compete under pressure as well as provide the perfect opportunity for a tune up match before our state tourneys begin. We left after school on Friday. We started our adventure at AI for a quick equipment check and a reminder to the boys that we are representing Indiana, AI and above all, Our Lord. We made a quick stop at St. Rita’s church where Fr. B prayed for the safety of the boys and traveling mercies for our journey. With the van loaded down with fresh fruit, peanut butter and water we left Indiana heading south bound to Kentucky.
 
Many of our boys have never left the ten block radius of their neighborhoods. To not just leave the city, but the state, was really something special for these guys. Excitement, nervousness and curiosity grew within the boys, increasing with each mile we drove. Questions filled the van such as, “Do we need a passport to get into KY?”, “Are those cows real?”, “Don’t these farmers get bored living way out here?”. It was a fun ride and we stayed the night in Owensboro, KY. Coach Nate Taylor from basement boxing in Anderson, IN followed us to KY with a few of his boxers. We woke early in the morning and Coach Lawton, a volunteer coach with Team Achieve, drove down to meet us early on Saturday. We fueled up on fruit and bagels before making it to the weigh-ins in Livermore by 11am.
 
 
 
Of the 10 boys we took, 6 got matched in the tournament. We had 3 boys win to become KY state champions and one of boys won a trophy for fight of the night. Two of our boys were clearly ahead on the score-card but still lost a judge’s decision in favor of the local team. We actually tied for the most wins for team trophy but they said during the case of a tie preference would be given to local gyms. Our guys were frustrated by the unfair practices but conducted themselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel and made me most proud!!
 
 
Wins and boxing aside, there is something very powerful that happens when you take a kid out of their environment. These boys thought they were going to box but in reality they were going and a radical spiritual journey. Remember, the Magi that followed their passion and idol (Astronomy, a star) to the baby Christ. After an encounter with Him, scripture tells us they went home a different way. Boxing led these boys on a spiritual journey and I am sure they came home a different way.. Thank you, for your partnership in the Gospel!

Categories: Coaches Corner

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