Which of your kids wrestled or wrestles? How have they done in the sport?
Both of my sons wrestled. Ryan qualified for state twice and went right into the work force right after high school. Eli placed 4th, 2nd and 1st freshman through junior year and will go for another title this year.
Did you grow up with wrestling? What got you and your sons into the sport?
Does WWF count? No, at the time wrestling wasn’t a thing in Arkansas. When Ryan was in kindergarten, he brought home an info sheet home for PV Club sign-ups and the rest is history.
Witnessing the wrestling scene in Arkansas and Iowa, what are some similarities and differences between the two states in terms of their wrestling scenes from what you may have gathered?
Growth. The numbers in Arkansas grew so rapidly they soon had teams everywhere and now have their own D1 program. The womens division is following suit and are already sanctioned. Honestly, the only differences are on the womens side. Iowa needs to get their business together. Our men’s programs are more advanced than they are, but I think will even out with time.
What are some proud wrestling mom moments that stick out to you?
There are a lot. Aside from winning state, all the teams he has wrestled on, the relationships he has forged, and his leadership in the wrestling community. I am so proud of this person, like, he is a good human.
Are you a crazy wrestling mom or pretty well-grounded?
Anybody that knows me will you that I am absolutely bananas. Not for my own kid, but for so many other kids. I am so lucky to know so many great kids and to know them when they were just little guys before all of the hype is just the best.
Do you like how the sport has shaped your kids as individuals off the mat as well as on it?
For sure. Learning accountability is huge. There is a saying â€œYou either win or you learn. I never ever used that. A loss is a loss. Take it. Learn from it. Don’t let it define you. Move on. That has allowed them to have full control over their life. If they do well, it was because they worked for it. If they do poorly, its because they didn’t. They have also learned to give credit where credit is due, whether its a teacher, club, partner, coach, or opponent. Also, Eli is forever helping everywhere. He helps with AAU stuff, he coaches girls, kids, and newer kids in the room. He gives back as naturally as he breaths.
How proud are you of your husband, Jason Loyd with all the work he has put in promoting girls wrestling as well as the positive results he has achieved?
I’m super proud. He never meant to lead this whole movement. He just wanted to make sure that all kids participating in the sport had appropriate gear. Something very simple. But one thing led to another and here he is; grown women’s opportunities at all levels. He understands that growth only happens when opportunities are present. So, he creates them. Not for the elite few, but for anyone who wants a chance. Everyone has a place on the mat and the right to be there.
Would you have wrestled if given the chance in HS?
Probably, I’m more than a little rowdy.
Who are some influential people in the wrestling scene who have made a positive impact on your family?
His club coaches at PV for sure, they said he’s got something special. Eric Jurgens with Young Guns taught him some of his most unexpected go to moves. He was also his first hard coach. He helped thicken his skin. Dustin Coufal and Johnny Siegel with DC Elite helped him find his love for the sport. Wes Creason and Ron Peterson helped define his sense of community and the importance of giving back. And of course, his team coaches, they push him everyday and take zero excuses.
When did you notice your sons stepping it up a level in their wrestling game? Was it a gradual or immediate process?
Ryan was steady as it goes. He did get better his last two years, but I think that was because he decided to have fun with it and not worry about the pressure. Eli grew in 2nd grade and qualified for AAU state, 7th grade, and figured out how to keep learning and growing. He will practice the same thing over and over and over until his body just does it.
Did you play any other sports growing up?
I didn’t play sports. I was a band nerd. I could play a mean flute. I was a beast. Where does watching your sons wrestl rank in your favorite all time memories of your life? Pretty high, but mostly because it’s the whole community aspect of it. I love watching my kid wrestle don’t get me wrong. Eli is my favorite high school kid hands down, but I also love watching the other kids and talking with their parents and watching Eli do the same.
How crucial of a role does the wrestling mom play?
Moms are super important. I mean, weâ€™ve got the FOOD, the ibuprofen, and the extra cash. I know I have already talked about community, but really, we moms are there for everybody. The good ones are anyway. We cheer on everybody and if somebody needs something, we’ve got it covered no matter whose kid you are. We lift each other up. All in all, I kind of feel like we are the heartbeat of this crazy circus.
Any advice to other wrestling moms out there?
Enjoy the moments. Be supportive. Donâ€™t talk smack about the kids; they are kids, remember. Make friends with each other, you’ll be glad you did. Don’t run down to the mat until you are waved to by their coach or ref. Always carry nail clippers, small scissors, a disposable razor and shaving cream in your bag. It goes by so quickly, take a picture or two, even if your child doesn’t win. Remind your kids that it’s not wins or losses that define them, it’s what happens afterward.