It’s been said wrestling teams are a community and family in and of themselves. It certainly feels that way by anyone involved in any type of wrestling program.
But like with our own personal families, we don’t trust the inner workings or responsibilities at hand, to just anyone. I’d say the same is true when looking at who you trust to manage meets and tournaments.
The days and hours leading up to a wrestling tournament involve a flurry of people, all working quickly through endless to-lists and event prep. As ‘go time’ approaches the intensity of the work naturally escalates. As wrestlers and their families arrive on site — so much has been done and there is so much yet to do. In these moments you need someone who can embrace the crazy, with their natural ability and talent, bringing with them a sense of calm confidence.
That is exactly what Caroline Pellett brings as she steps on site ready to manage arguably the most intricate and critical part of an entire wrestling meet — second only perhaps to the actual incredible athletes and their talents on the mat.
Caroline has spent the last three years perfecting her ability to understand and manage TrackWrestling.
TrackWrestling is an online system that allows for the management of any type of wrestling event. It moves the management of tournaments from a traditional paper sheet, to a completely electronic event with computers at each mat. These computers integrate with time clocks, jumbotrons, ribbon boards, video feeds, and more. By utilizing the advanced technology of TrackWrestling all the meet information is readily available to follow along live online for anyone wanting to watch.
Caroline stumbled upon the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of TrackWrestling under the apprenticeship of Paul Honnold. As a result, she has fully embraced and excelled at every responsibility given to her along the way.
“This is not an easy system to learn,” said Pellett. “There is a lot involved and a lot that needs to happen in a very short amount of time. You really have to be someone that can remain calm and think several steps ahead while your attention to detail can remain focused on the present.”
As soon as I met Caroline I could just tell she not only had interest in learning but the great talent and dedication needed, and she picked it up so quickly! There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time and she is just so fast, really so good!
Caroline commented that the mentorship of both Paul and his wife has been parmount to her success and has only driven her desire to learn more and take on more responsibility.
What started out as a side gig became a passion that aligns perfectly with her natural leadership skills.
“I absolutely love being trusted with the responsibility to handle the set up, management of meets, as well as working with the coaches and AD’s,” she said. “Truthfully I love knowing that the meet is set up correctly and the big role it all plays in the success of the event. There is often a lot of problem solving that needs to take place right at crunch time and I love the adrenaline within the high stress setting and knowing I can help provide a solution!
“After the meet is going, it settles down a little and I then watch all the monitors, computers, and system to make sure everything is reporting and running correctly.
Recently Honnold has handed over local junior varsity and varsity meets for Caroline to handle on her own. Honnold will set up the brackets behind the scenes ahead of time and then Caroline takes it from there — handling TrackWrestling, communicating with coaches, attending the coaches meetings and finalizing the input after those meetings and ensuring everything is ready for wrestling to hit the mats.
“I plan to continue giving her as many opportunities as she wants. My grandkids are in high school and starting to wrestle more,” said Honnold regarding the future of Caroline working with TrackWrestling.. “Taking a step back sounds great so I can attend those events. Especially knowing all is in great hands with Caroline. I’ll give her as many events as she wants.”
When I asked Caroline about her hopes or goals for the future she responded, “Seeing the benefit of everyone working together for the success of their wrestling program and Paul’s willingness to continue trusting me has been great. I am eager to continue running more of my own meets and staying actively involved in the administrative piece of these meets. It’s really been so fun!”
Honnold ended his comments and compliments of Pellet with this, “As I step back more and more I have no concerns as I continue handing Caroline more responsibility — she’s more than capable, more than ready!”
So maybe the saying is true – we wouldn’t trust the needs and responsibilities of our family, wrestling or other, to just anyone, but I think it’s safe to say when it comes to wrestling — your district, club, and/or team is in great hands with Caroline Pellet.
With her at the helm of TrackWrestling — you can ensure a meet run without hesitation and should there be one, her knowledge, skills, and calm confident attitude will have you back up and wrestling in no time!