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Williamson graduate producing documentary about Warriors
February 15, 2013 - Mitch Rupert
By MITCH RUPERT
Kyle Tims had this idea floating around in his head for some two years now. It's a grandiose plan to take an extended leave of absence from work, follow around the high school wrestling team at his old high school and tell the story of a wrestling season.
More specifically, he wanted to tell the story of a single wrestler. It was an idea that was pretty much nothing more than an idea until about a year ago when Tims, a 2004 Williamson High School graduate, watched online as Logan Everett became only the second Warriors wrestler to ever finish in the top five of the state tournament.
Tims had known Everett, the son of long-time Williamson head coach Mark Everett, since he was a sophomore in high school. Logan was always around at all the high school wrestling practices, matches and tournaments, and Tims, who wrestled at Williamson, knew Logan was going to be a state-caliber wrestler by the time he got to high school.
So when Logan finished fifth at states a year ago and became just the third wrestler to win a medal at the state tournament in school history, Tims knew he had bring his idea to fruition. So now, he along with help from former classmate Brady Hartman and his fiancee Erin LaBar, Tims is in the process of filming the next four weeks of high school wrestling postseason for his documentary, States: A Wrestling Documentary.
The idea now maybe isn't as big as the one Tims had two years ago, but it's an idea he's excited about working on and finishing.
"Over time, we've scaled it down to a more reasonable process," said Tims, a Lock Haven University graduate. "But it's cool to watch a kid like Logan who has had such an impact on his classmates and teammates, and follow him through the postseason and watch some of his teammates go through it as well."
When the four District 4 Class AA sectional tournaments get underway this morning to kick off the wrestling postseason, Hartman will be at the North Sectional tournament, documenting the triumphs and disappointments of the Williamson wrestling team.
Tims said this was the perfect season for his idea to take shape. Williamson had what may be the best wrestling season in the school's history. It was 21-2 in dual meets and would have been the second seed in the District 4 Duals until injuries and illness forced Mark Everett to pull his team out of the competition.
It's a team that features two returning state qualifiers in Logan Everett and Tyrus Hamblin, and a third wrestler in Billy Barnes who was a win away from the state tournament a year ago. It was that group which gave Williamson a pair of District 4 champions a year ago for a program which had just three in its history.
That's what drew Tims, 26, to this project.
"Logan was super excited about the idea," Tims said. "I approached him first because I figured he could put on that good son charm and get his dad to think it was a good idea. Mark followed suit and was just as excited. I think he knows this is the best team Williamson has ever had in its history."
Tims wants to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into a wrestling season. Beyond just the wins and losses on the mat, he wants viewers to understand how much work goes in to being successful in the best state for high school wrestling in the country.
He hopes that his familiarity with Everett will allow the senior and his teammates to open up to him on camera so they can share their thoughts with the viewers about the grind of the postseason.
"I don't think people really see how hard they work or know how hard they work," Tims said. "A lot of people look at it as just another high school sport or just another college sport. But it's really more than that. It's a life choice and lifestyle to put forth the time and effort to really excel. I want them to know how fun it can be and how rewarding it can be."
To fund the project Tims posted the premise of his documentary along with a promotional video on the web site Kickstarter.com which allows people to invest in different projects. Tims was hoping to raise $2,000 to fund the equipment he needed along with travel and lodging expenses that come from traveling from his home in Warren County, N.J.
He said the $2,000 mark was on the low end of what he thought he would need to fund the project, but the way Kickstarter works is that if you don't meet your target goal of investments, then you get no money from the people who have donated. Tims was surprised to find out he met that $2,000 goal within six hours of posting the idea on the Web site.
A bulk of the nearly $3,000 he's raised has come from one donor, a New Jersey resident who is a wrestling coach and saw the project through Tims' Twitter account.
"I was sleeping and (LaBar) came running upstairs and she scared the living daylights out of me," Tims said. "She said it had already met its goal in one donation. I knew we would have a lot of supporters from Williamson, but it was shocking to see a complete stranger do that."
The documentary will be a full-length feature which Tims has a tentative release date set for November of this year. He said he's the one who will be doing all the editing following the state tournament in Hershey in March in his free time from his job as a casino dealer in Bethlehem.
He said he's most excited to get to Hershey with this group of wrestlers to show people the excitement of the tournament, as well as what the players go through during their down time at the hotel during the three-day tournament.
"Hershey is where my head is at and where it's going to be most exciting," Tims said. "If you go anywhere in the country, I don't think you run into a state tournament like the one in Hershey. And I love the AA tournament because the small schools put out some tough kids. That will be exciting to me to be with the team in Hershey."
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