Pat Kinnison

Homecoming & Hoops: Smith Pins Gajewski

The wrestling match between Cowboys softball coach Kenny Gajewski and wrestling coach John Smith was one of the highlights of Homecoming and Hoops.

Honestly, after all the hype and some of the comments, I was hoping for a true John Smith performance on the mat. What all of the fans at Homecoming and Hoops got was a very well hyped and promoted and then somewhat correographed match that featured some pauses to allow for Kenny Gajewski to catch his breath.

Jim Littell was impressive as the referee in that he did find a way to assist Gajewski so he could get a takedown. In the end, Smith on his third time to get Gajewski on the mat with a takedown, all of them were high as Smith never got down for his signature single and double leg takedowns, he finished him off on top and putting the shoulders into the mat and Littell called the fall, maybe even a tad early. 

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It was all in good fun and Smith had all of the softball players in his corner and surprisingly the Cowboys wrestling staff and wrestlers were in Gajewski's corner. There could be some pay back in the wrestling room for that next week. 

Smith told me earlier, "I'm not going to crush him. You can't, you have to play it safe with a fellow coach in the athletic department."

Gajewski took the mic after the match was completed and looking at his players over there celebrating with Smith, he said, "debt paid."

Of course, the whole bet and the event was the result of a challenge Gajewski made to his players and Smith allowed to be reinforced of the Cowgirl softball team being tougher and being hit by pitch 50 or more times during the 2016 season. In the NCAA Tournament against at Georgia, the Cowgirls got to 50 and passed it making it necessary for Gajewski to take on the two-time Olympic gold medalist and six-time World Champion.

My guess is there will be a new challenge this season. Then again, maybe a challenge won't be needed as the Cowgirls have galvanized into a really solid and tough program.

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