X State Games of America

August 5, 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Ten students from 2 ATF schools competed at the 2017 Sates Games of America national tournament held from August 3-6 in Grand Rapids, MI. The Games attracted 12,000 athletes from 47 states and the TKD tournament had over 300 competitors; many were medalists from their home state games. Although we were a small group, most folks there came to recognize our ATF patch based on the performance, spirit, and conduct of our athletes – our competitors brought home 20 medals; 8 of them Gold.

The ATF patch was evident in the first event of the day – Power Breaking – with Michael Dreilinger bringing home our first medal (Bronze) by punching through 5 boards in the Mens 18+ division against a dozen opponents; Garrett Bogart brought home a Gold in the Black Belt Boys 14-17 Division breaking 4 boards with a palm with Brandon Allen winning Gold in the Colored Belt Boys 14-17 Division also breaking 4 with a palm.

The host organization, World Class TKD, does not use Purple, Red or Brown belts – they are all combined in their Red belt category. In the virtual sea of Red Belts, 7 year old Jansen Sullivan stood out as the only Senior Red Belt in the forms competition. Comments of “how can that little guy be so senior” were changed to “that little guy is so awesome” as Jansen earned our third Gold of the day.

Michael Dreilinger and William Wallace each won Gold in their respective forms competitions; Connor and Garrett competed against each other with Connor winning Silver and Garrett Bronze in their forms match; and Caitlyn Dean earned a Bronze in her forms competition against several senior competitors in the Women’s 18-24 Black Belt Division.

Once all the breaking and forms were completed, the competition shifted into high gear with the Olympic Sparring competition – no Point Sparring at this tournament. Despite limited experience, our ATF fighters still earned 3 Gold, 2 Silver, and 2 Bronze against some very excellent competitors. William Wallace won his second Gold in the Black Belt Boys 11-12 Division and Brandon Allen destroyed his opponent 44-4 in the Colored Belt Boys 14-17 ring to earn his second Gold. Connor Bogart suffered through a broken nose and mild concussion en route to winning Silver in his division; and Lindsey Ludlam also earned silver in a very close match against her opponent who had just defeating the defending 2-time Michigan state champion. Gautham Gorti from Master Mitchell’s Black Belt TKD Academy was the final ATF competitor and he brought home our 8th Gold medal of the Games with a stellar performance defeating the home school’s champion in the Black Belt Boys 14-17 Division.